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Gentleman s Magazine 

Volume CCLI. 


Prodesse &" Delectare 

E Pluribus Unum 

Edited by SYLVANUS URBAN, '.>»/>//.w/ 




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Abas les Juifs ! A Mediaeval Study. By Alex. C. Ewald, F.S.A. 41 1 

American English and English. By Richard A. Proctor . 156 

Arabic Fables. By James Mew 217 

Artists, Rising. By Frederick Wedmore 91 

Colonial Animals and their Origin. By Andrew Wilson, F.R.S.E. : 

Part II 63 

Comet, The, of a Season. By Justin M'Carthy, M.P. : 

Chap. xix. In Berkeley Square 1 

XX. A Breaking-up 7 

XXI. Hurt to the Death 14 

XXII. Father and Son 21 . 

XXIII. Games of Cross -Purposes 129 

XXIV. " She's left her home, the graceless girl \» . . 139 
xxv. Recaptured, not Recovered 147 

xxvi. Impulse on both Sides 257 

xxvii. "An* 'twere to give again — but 'tis no matter " . 265 

xxviii. Jupiter and Semele 273 

xxix. An Ominous Visitor 385 

xxx. Danger Signals 392 

xxxi. Ordeal by Fire 401 

xxxii. Once more on Tower Hill 513 

xxxiil. The End of the Church of Free Souls . . .519 
xxxiv. Lady Vanessa's Benevolent Intervention . .525 

xxxv. Melissa's Honeymoon 531 

xxxvi. " The Power that made boy and girl » . 641 

XXXVii. "Every Wiseman's son doth know" . . . 648 

xxxviii. " In the deep bosom of the ocean buried " . .655 

Conway, Mr., and Mrs. Piozzi. By Dutton Cook . . .538 

Development, In some Byeways of. By Andrew Wilson, F.R.S.E. : 

Part 1 429 

" .584 

Dickens, Charles, at Home 562 

Dreams. and the Making of Dreams. By J. Mortimer Gran- 
ville, M.D 732 

Dugong, the, Notes on. By Redspinner 738 

Electrician, A" First By Benjamin Ward Richardson, M.D. . 460 




English and American English. By Richard A. Proctor . . . 156 

Essex's, The Earl of, Rebellion. By Alex. C. Ewald, F.S.A. . 43 

Fables, Arabic. By James Mew 217 

Fujiyama, A Pilgrimage to the Summit of. By C. F. Gordon- 

Cumming 481 

Guide-Book, An Early Roman. By J. Kempe .... 597 

Gunpowder Plot, The. By Alex. C. Ewald, F.S.A. . . * . 193 

Horse, Photographs of a Galloping. By Richard A. Proctor * . 666 

H6tel Rambouillet, The. By Margaret Mary Maitland . . 350 

How Mephisto was Caught : a Chess Legend 330 

Hugo, Victor, The Statue of. By Algernon C. Swinburne . 284 

Juifs, A bas les ! A Mediaeval Study. By Alex. C. Ewald, F.S.A. 41 1 

Kant, Immanuel. By Paul Jerome 446 

Light, The, of the North. By James Forfar .... 609 

Lovers' Paradise, The. Rendered from Ronsard in the Original 

, Measure. By Edward B. Nicholson . . . . , . 497 

Marshal Saxe. By James Forfar 228 

Mephisto, How he was Caught : a Chess Legend .... 330 
Mote, A, in the Parliamentary Eye. By The Member for the 

Chiltern Hundreds 107 

New Testament, The Revised : its Merits and its Demerits. By 

Rev. T. H. L. Leary, D.C.L 28 

North, The Light of the. By James Forfar 609 

Notes on the Dugong. By Redspinner 738 

Ocean Travelling. By Redspinner 291 

Of Riddles. By David Fitzgerald 177 

Paradise, The Lovers'. Rendered from Ronsard in the Original 

Measure. By Edward B. Nicholson 497 

Parliamentary Eye, A Mote in the. By The Member for the 

Chiltern Hundreds 107 

Photographs of a Galloping Horse. By Richard A. Proctor . 666 
Pilgrimage, A, to the Summit of Fujiyama. By C F. Gordon- 

Cumming . . . . * 481 

Piozzi, Mrs., and Mr. Conway. By DUTTON COOK . . .538 
Plot, The Gunpowder. By Alex. C. Ewald, F.S.A. . . .193 

Poetry, The, of Parody. By W. Davenport Adams . . . 303 

Primrose, The Polity of a. By Andrew Wilson, F.R.S.E. . . 696 

Rambouillet, The H6tel. By Margaret Mary Maitland . . 350 

Rebellion, The Earl of Essex's. By Alex. C. Ewald, F.S.A. . 43 
Revised New Testament, The : its Merits and its Demerits, 

Rev. T. H. L. Leary, D.C.L. .... 
Riddles, Of. By David Fitzgerald . 
" Ring, The, and the Book." By James Thomson 
Rising Artists. By Frederick Wedmore . 
Roman Guide-Boole, An Early. By J. Kempe 
Saxe, Marshal. By James Forfar 

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. 177 

. 682 

• 9' 

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Contents. vii 

Science Notes. By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S. : FACK 

The « Box of Electricity "-—The Isthmus of Corinth Canal— The 
Great Irish Telescope— Trappist Monks and Naturalists— Coal- 
dust Explosions . . 114 

The Comet— Comet Weather and Comet Vintages— Swallows 
and Mosquitoes— The Abnormal Weather of 1881— The Lunar 
Atmosphere 243 

The Induction Balance and President Garfield's Wound— Ozone 
at the Seaside— The Passivity of Iron— Milk and Contagion- 
Seed Potatoes— Arctic Climate— Arctic Daylight . . .371 

A New Method of Meat-preserving— The Closing of the Poly- 
technic Institution — The Artificial Mediterranean— The Modern 
Progress of Biology — Scientific Accuracy — " Beet Sickness n 
and Rotation of Crops 499 

The Coming Winter — Artificial Indigo Dye — Artificial Diamonds 
again — The Crying of Tortured Metal — Scientific Harvesting 
— Spontaneous Combustion of Coal — A Theory of Steel — The 
Steeping of Seeds in Water 625 

Atmospheric Disturbances of the Earth's Interior — Earth-tides, 
Earth-waves, and Earth-ripples — Electric Voting : a Political 
Suggestion — Telegraphic Fooling of Animals — u Optograms" — 
Microscopic Ruling — Feathered Vermin and their Friends — 

Aristocratic Lineage of the Scorpion 748 

Spring Trouting. By Redspinner 80 

Statue, The, of Victor Hugo. By Algernon C. Swinburne . 284 
Stephen, Where was King, Buried? By B. Montgomerie 

Ranking 368 

Story, The, of Wulfgeat. By Grant Allen . . . . .551 
Table Talk. By Sylvanus Urban : 

The Meiningen Court Company — Intellectual Expression in .Old 
Age— A Novel Tax — Our Linguistic Accessions — O jr Linguistic 
Donations— Kindness to Animals an English Attribute . . 1 24 

The Haymarket Stage Half a Century Ago — Other Features of 
the Stage of Fifty Years Ago — Theatrical Memoranda— The 
Showman's Vanity— Proposed French Tax on English Litera- 
ture — Evils of Opium Consumption in Burmah — Sorrows of an 
Infant Book-Collector 252 

Modern Taste in Old Books — Kindred Tastes of London and 
Paris — Self-imposed Starvation— An Estimate of Tobacco— 
"The Tobacconist "— Female Praise of Tobacco— The Duchess 
of Newcastle and Shakespeare 381 

Breach of Promise of Marriage— Masculine Legislation for 
Women— The Bull- fight in France — Influence of Neighbouring 
People upon France— Pleasures of Book-collecting — Recent 
Writers of Burlesque— A Suggested Speculation . 509 

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viii Contents. 

Table 1 alk— continued. pag« 

Flowers and Flower-shows — Uselessness of Weapons in Civilised 

Society — A Ghost Story — Verses for Music — A Delusion of 

French Visitors to London— The Viking's Ship — A Contribution 

to Theatrical Biography — The Stove and the Stage— Dogberry 

at Brighton 635 

A Possible Revelation — Art in the Postbag — Mr. living's Edin- 
burgh Address — The Earnings and Social Position of the Actor 
— Mr. Mallock on his Defence — The Sunderland Library — 

Probable Profits of the Sunderland Sale 757 

Transvaal Question, The. By Frances Ellen Colenso . . 101 

Travelling, Ocean. By Reds pinner 291 

Victor Hugo, The Statue of. By Algernon C. Swinburne . 284 
Where was King Stephen Buried? By B. Montgomerie 

Ranking 368 

Wulfgeat, The Story of. By Grant Allen 551 

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July 1881. 



Chapter XIX. 


ONTANA had seen Lady Vanessa just as well as she had 

seen him. His quick eyes were not likely to miss her. 
He was looking out for possible observers of himself and Geraldine 
in their late evening walk; and when he heard the wheels of a 
carriage, he naturally looked that way. He saw Lady Vanessa, and 
saw that she had seen them, and he was very glad of it It exactly 
suited his purpose. She was just the person whom he should have 
liked to see Miss Rowan and himself together, in that strange mys- 
terious way, towards nightfall. When Geraldine met him first, he led 
her at once to the path beside the railings of the Square gardens. 
" Nobody will see us here," he said ; " this place is very quiet Come ; 
here are the letters. Luckily for us, the moon shines brightly enough, 
and you can easily find the one you want." 

He put a little bundle of letters into Geraldine's hand. She turned 
them hastily over, and was not long in finding the one she sought for. 
She felt her mind immensely relieved. She had got it now, and poor 
Melissa's secret was safe. 

" I am really grateful to you, Mr. Montana," she said, and she 
felt all she said. " You have relieved me from a great anxiety, and 
enabled me to keep my word." 

" It was nothing," he said > " and even if I had read your friend's 
Jetter, it could not have fallen into better hands, J should fave 

VOL. CCLI. NO. 1807, $ 

2 The Gentlemaris Magazine. 

respected her confidence, even though I thought her foolish. But 
confess, Miss Rowan, that it is rather an odd freak of fate which 
makes so many women send me declarations of love that I don't 
want, while the only woman I care about repulses me." 

" I am much obliged to you, Mr. Montana," she said again. " I 
must go now." 

" No," he said, " you must not go just yet. We will walk round 
this place for a little. I want to talk to you. I am glad of the 
opportunity. I want to talk to you seriously. You are not a senti- 
mental and foolish girl, and you are not afraid to hear the truth. I 
must go back again to what we talked of to-day." 

" Pray, don't go back to it," she said. " Don't let us say anything 
about it. Let me leave you now with this feeling of real gratitude to 
you. I have done a very odd and rash thing in coming to meet you 
here — don't make me sorry for doing it." 

"The thing is too serious," Montana said quietly, "for little 
scruples about forms and proprieties. I am glad to have you here 
alone, because I must speak again of what I began to speak to you 
about to-day when Lady Vanessa interrupted us. I must put it in 
plain words. I want you to be my wife, Miss Rowan. I think you 
are the woman in all the world who is fitted for me, and for the kind 
of work I have to do and the kind of life I have to lead ; and so I 
put this to you plainly, and at once. I have no lime for formal 
courtship and love-making, but I tell you that I am in love with you ; 
and, much more than that, that I believe you are necessary to me 
and to my life, and I want you to be my wife. Don't answer at 
once. I want you to think this over. Every day you think it over, 
believe me, you will find yourself growing more and more reconciled 
to it." 

" Oh, it is impossible," she said. 

" Just let me tell you," he said, " some of the advantages — not 
that you much care about ordinary advantages, I know ; but there 
are some things that every woman of spirit and sense must care 
about. You are not rich, I know : I have heard that your mother is 
poor. In the ordinary course, you would have perhaps a hard enough 
struggle with the world, and I hate the idea of a girl like you, who is 
worthy of some high destiny, having to struggle with the world. 
Well, I am rich enough. I have a good deal of money. Money comes 
to me somehow, although I never went out of my way to get it. 
I never made money-getting any part of my ambition. But I am rich 
enough, and you could live in a way that would become you. And 
I am a success. I have made a name, and you would be known 

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The Cotrtit of a Season. • a 

everywhere. More than all that, I have a great work to do, -and you 
should share in it." 

" What is the use of all that ? " Geraldine asked. " It is thrown 
away on me, Mr. Montana. I don't even feel grateful for it, as I 
ought to do. It doesn't touch me. I am not afraid of a struggle 
with the world — not in the least. My mother would rather bear 

anything than that I married any one for whom I did not feel " 

and then she stopped, embarrassed. 

" You may speak out as plainly as you wish," he said with his 
usual composure. "You can't tell me anything I don't know already. 
I understand your feelings towards me quite well.' 

" Then, if you do, we needn't talk any more about all this," she 
said vehemently. " If you know all that I feel, you can't want any 
answer from me. You know how little chance there is of my— of 
my doing what you wish me to do." 

" I know," Montana calmly answered, " that it is almost as certain 
as the rising of to-morrow's sun that you will be my wife." 

Montana thoroughly enjoyed this struggle between will and will. 
He did not by any means feel all the confidence in his ultimate suc- 
cess that he professed ; but he well knew how much in such a contest 
of resolve between man and woman, the man gains over the woman 
by the firm and repeated assertion that she cannot possibly escape 
him. In every act, and almost in every secret thought of Montana's, 
there was the same blending of reality and of play-acting. It was true 
that he had long convinced himself that the high destinies intended 
Geraldine Rowan to be his wife, and that she was needed to his 
career. So much was true — so much at least was the fanatic's dream ; 
the rest was play-acting. 

" I don't ask you for an answer now," he said. 

" Let me answer No ! " she exclaimed. " Oh, let me answer No, 
once for alL I shall never give any other answer — unless I am 
bewitched Do, Mr. Montana, I beg of you, take my answer now, 
and let us be done with all this. I never could care about you, Mr. 
Montana — to marry you, I mean. I must speak the truth ; some- 
thing in you repels me." 

"I know that quite well," Montana answered, with his quiet 
smile. " I know why it is. You shrink back for a while because 
you know you cannot help yourself." 

There did seem to be something of this kind in Geraldine's 
mind. Her dislike of him did always seem to be compounded with 
a certain dread that he would one day or other come to have an 
influence over her. 


5 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" I don't care," he went on, " for the sort of thing that common- 
place people call love. I might have had enough of that. I don't 
care whether the feeling you have now to me is like that which any 
girl just out of school may have for some young man. I much prefer 
your feeling of repulsion and fear." 

" Fear? I have no fear. I am not afraid of you, Mr. Montana 
—no, not in the least Why should I be ?" 

" Oh, yes ; you are afraid. You are afraid that I shall prevail in 
the end.' You know I shalL You can't escape, Geraldine Do 
you remember the first night I saw you ? It was on the deck of the 
steamer as we were leaving New York bay. The moment I saw 
you I said to myself, 'That is the woman destined for me \ there 
stands my wife.' " 

He took her hand, and held it. 

For the first time she began to feel afraid of him. There was 
something in the expression of his eyes that compelled her to quail. 
It seemed as if he were becoming a reality instead of a sham. A 
soul was growing evident within him. Can one clearly realise what 
the sensation would be if, as he was looking on some theatric 
representation of a ghost, some poor magic-lantern illusion, some 
Polytechnic combination of glass and cunning reflection, the thing 
began, beyond doubt, to turn into a very ghost— a spectre with wan 
eyes and bodiless frame, the stars shining through it; an impos- 
sibility, yet a terrible, unmistakable reality, sending a shudder 
through every nerve of those who thus saw in their very presence 
the natural put on the supernatural ? If one could imagine what the 
sensation of such awe-stricken spectators would be, he would have 
some idea of the feelings of Geraldine Rowan as her strange admirer 
held her hand and claimed her. The clasp with which he held her 
was not that which Geraldine would have supposed the grasp of a 
lover. It was not palpitating and tremulous, as with hope and fear 
and poetic tenderness. It was a cold, strong, stern grasp, quietly 
masterful If Fate were to assume a bodily presence and take hold 
of a victim's hand, such perhaps would be its gripe. 

What was that look in Montana's eyes? Geraldine had always 
thought that, despite their lustrous darkness, Montana's eyes were 
shallow, merely glittering, soulless. Behind the shining surface there 
seemed to her to be nothing. Now there was indeed something 
looking ominously out from a depth she had not thought of. Was it 
the light of passion, of unconquerable resolve, of high purpose? 
Was it— the thought passed quickly through her— the light of growing 
insanity? She felt as one might feel who, glancing ayrelepsly into some 

The Comet of a Season. 5 

cavern Which he has passed and glanced into every day, becomes 
suddenly aware that his look is answered from the darkness this time 
by the burning eyes of a crouching tiger. 

If Montana had known what was passing in Geraldine's mind, he 
could not have better chosen the words with which he broke the 
moment's silence. It was only a moment's silence, long as its strain 
seemed to Geraldine's overstrung nerves. The little second-hand of 
her watch had not made one round before Montana spoke. 

" I believe there is a fate in this. It is your destiny, Geraldine, 
as well as mine. You can't escape it I have tried many things, and 
never failed in anything yet I shall not fail in this, believe me." 

She did not resist his holding her hand. Had he given a warm 
lover-like pressure, she would at once and instinctively have torn her 
hand away. But it was still the same quiet, unmoving grasp— like 
that of some instrument 

" I don't believe in talk about fate and destiny," Geraldine said, 
keeping up her courage and composure as well as she could, but 
almost feeling as if she were beginning to have an uncomfortable 
belief in destiny all the same. 

" Nor I," Montana answered. " I was only using the words that 
people commonly use. What I mean is, that I have always found a 
Higher Power directing me in every step I have taken, and I find it 
now. I never make plans and schemes as ordinary people do ; I 
don't want them. I wait, and my course is directed for me. When 
the moment comes, I always know what to do. I am guided, I have 
been guided, to you from the first" 

" Oh, pray, Mr. Montana, don't talk of a special providence and 
heavenly guidance about such poor things as the fortunes of you and 
me. It makes me shudder; it sounds like blasphemy." 

" Do you think heaven is farther off from us now than it was in 
the days of the prophets ?" 

"No, I don't; but — I don't know. The same things don't 
occur, and anyhow we are not prophets, you and I " — she suddenly 
wished she had not coupled herself and him together in the word 
"we" — "at least, I am not a prophet, Mr. Montana, and I don't 
believe that you — I don't believe there are prophets now." 

" There is need of guidance for men and women now as much as 
ever — ay, far more need than there was in the days when men were 
known to have speech of angels. Well, you will think this over ; 
there is time enough. Remember, it is a great destiny to which I 
am calling you. Yours will not be like the life of an ordinary 
woman ; no, not even if she were a queen. What could a queen $fo\e 

6 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

like the work you will have to do? You will help to found a new 
civilisation, Your name will be famous all over the world. Perhaps 
you will be the first woman who ever vindicated for woman her true 
place in the great work of the world." 

" I don't believe I am worthy of any such high destiny," Geraldine 
said, forcing a smile. " You must find some one else, Mr. Montana ; 
some woman who would be equal to such a place, and who would 
like it. I am not equal to it, and I shouldn't like it" 

" You don't yet know your own capabilities : who ever does until 
the moment comes ?" 

" The moment has come now for me to go away," she said, " and 
to get home. I ought not to have come. You have made me more 
sorry than ever that I did come ; but I would venture a good deal 
for a friend. I ought to thank you, Mr. Montana, I know, and to 
feel grateful to you. I am sure many women would think this the 
very height of their ambition. But it is not for me, and I thank you 
as much as I can. I will thank you with all my heart and soul if you 
will only say that we shall not speak of this any more." 

" We need not speak of it very often," he answered. " I shall 
only remind you of it when the time seems to me fitting. I am 
satisfied ; I know that every day's thought you give to this is sure to 
work for me, and I know that the more you try to avoid thinking of 
it, the more it will be in your mind. Now I don't mean to keep you 
any longer. Shall I see you safely to your door ?" 

" Oh, no ; please don't. Let me go alone. I shall be quite safe." 
She was already hurrying away, her whole horizon now being bounded 
by the mere hope of escape for that once. 

He bade her " Good-night " quietly. 

She hurried home in terror and a kind of shame. She gave Melissa 
her ransomed letter, and listened patiently to Melissa's interjections, 
partly of gratitude, partly of petulance, and made hardly any reply. 
She was inclined to say more than once, " You don't know what it 
may have cost me to get you back that foolish letter which you wrote 
in your absurd transport." But she repressed herself, and said 
nothing of the kind. She felt like one who is in possession of some 
guilty secret, like one who has entered into an alliance with unholy 
and supernatural agents, and for whom henceforward the real world 
loses its firm reality, by whom anything may be expected, however 
strange. She was bitterly angry with herself for not having more 
vehemently and finally rejected Montana's appeals, and broken off 
with him once and for all. But she had committed herself, she 
felt, in asking him to return Melissa's letter. She had put herself 

n ° Digitized byVjtTOgTC 

The Comet of a Season. J 

into a secret alliance with him, and from that moment had to treat 
him with consideration and the semblance of gratitude. What 
distressed her especially was the secret, inexplicable fear that 
perhaps she might not be able to hold herself aloof from him in the 
end. Perhaps he might get such a control over her, and so isolate 
her from other sympathies and other confidence, that she might 
actually have to yield and marry him in the end. She did not allow 
this terror to get hold of her without reasoning stoutly against it, and 
telling herself again and again that the time of witchcraft is passed, as 
well as the time of dragging young girls to the altar willy-nilly. She 
tried to laugh at her own fears ; told herself that as long as she was 
determined not to marry Montana, Montana could not possibly 
marry her. But all the same, she saw how fate and her own fault, or 
her own quixotic generosity, or whatever it was, had brought her into 
a relationship with Montana which she could not at one time have 
believed possible ; how he had made use of it to bring her and him 
into at least a momentary isolation from the rest of the world; and how 
she had more than once that night felt her spirit quail under the 
influence of that strange look which he fixed upon her. She had no 
friend to whom she could speak her mind, and the night was 
distressful to her, and she woke in the morning with a strange sensa- 
tion, as if her old world had slipped away from her altogether and 
left her drifting in chaos. 

Chapter XX. 


For some days Captain Marion and his household had heard 
nothing of Clement Hope. Geraldine thought that there was some- 
thing ominous in his absence and silence. It occurred to her that 
something must be the matter with Mr. Varlowe. She said as much 
to Captain Marion. Captain Marion was on the point of leaving 
town with Mr. Aquitaine for the northern city in which Aquitaine 
lived. They were going in obedience to a telegram from young 
Fanshawe. Fanshawe, when he heard of the incident in the Church 
of Free Souls, had naturally been aroused to keen interest and 
anxiety about it. If Mr. Varlowe's belief were not a delusion, then 
this Montana, this mysterious preacher and prophet and leader, must 
be the husband of his dead sister; and, if so, what a profound 
impostor he must be ! Fanshawe was determined, if possible, to find 
out the truth of the matter, and he hurried off at once to the town of 

S The Gentleman's Magazine. 

his. birth, — where pretty Miss Fanshawe had lived, and fallen in 
love, and married, and died. From that town he now sent to 
Captain Marion a telegram begging him to leave London and join 
him there at once, and Marion and Aquitaine were going this even- 
ing by the five-o'clock train. The women were to be left alone, 
except for the companionship of Mr. Trescoe, who was a moody 
companion enough these last few days. Something had come over 
him. He was not like himself. He was silent, and sometimes 
almost stern, and now and then made Katherine short answers, 
which were new to her, and to which she did not reply with any of 
her usual spirit There was something strange and cowed and 
fearful about Katherine's manner of late. She was wont to rule 
over her husband with the most undisguised sway. He used to 
live under a petticoat government open and avowed. His wife did 
not make the least affectation, as some judicious women do, of being 
the ruled while actually the ruler. She apparently took rather a 
pleasure in letting everybody see how completely her husband was 
her subject, and he seemed to enjoy his subjection. But things had 
changed these last few days. She was fearful ; he was sullen. 

" I wish we had not to go on this business," Marion said. He and 
Aquitaine and Trescoe were together. " I don't like it It seems 
like a sort of detective job. It looks as if we suspected Montana 
of something." 

" And don't we ? " Trescoe asked. 

" I don't ; and I'm sure, Frank, you don't either, if you would 
only let your true nature have its way. I wouldn't stir a step in this 
business of Fanshawe's, only that I want to have the satisfaction of 
seeing his suspicions proved to be ridiculous, and of telling him so. 
Of course it is excusable enough in him to be astonished and alarmed 
and all that ; but with us it is different" 

11 But look here, you know," said Aquitaine, " it is a terribly 
serious business for us all, as well as for Fanshawe. It might not be 
any matter in itself whether this fellow was Edmund Varlowe or was 
not ; but it is a tremendously serious thing if a man who has such 
influence, and is carrying on the great enterprise he talks of, and 
entangling the fortunes and whole future of thousands of men and 
women, should turn out to be an impostor in anything." 

" I don't know what you are all about," Marion said uneasily ; 
" you are all down upon Montana. I never saw such a thing. I 
fully believe the man is as true as steel and as open as the sun. It 
is his very nobleness of character that gets him such enemies." 

41 Come, now," Aquitaine interposed good-humouredly, but with 

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The Comet of a Season. 9 

a certain firmness of tone, " you ought not to say that to us, Marion. 
You ought not to say that we don't like the man because of his 
nobleness of character." 

" Oh, no, no," Marion said emphatically, " I don't mean that, 
Aquitaine. I mean that his nobleness of character makes him 
enemies, and they send out stories about him, and fill the air with 
calumnies, and some of these things always stick, you know, and they 
impress even sensible men like yourself. I wish you could look at 
Montana as I do. I wish you knew him as I do, and then you 
would " 

" But what do you know about him?" Trescoe asked in a tone 
very unlike that which he usually adopted towards his father-in-law. 
" You know nothing about him ; you hear fine talk, and you see 
that the women all round are taken with him." 

" I don't see anything of the kind," Marion interposed ; " some 
of them are as unjust to him as you are." 

" I don't want to be unjust to anyone," said Trescoe, " but I 
have had enough of htm, and I won't stand it much longer." 

" Won't stand what?" Marion asked, looking him fixedly in the 

" Well, I don't know about that," said Trescoe ; " or rather, I do 
know — I know what I mean, and I won't stand it much longer." 

He turned away and left them. 

" Now, Marion," said Aquitaine, "don't you really see the change 
that is made even in that young fellow by your friendship with 
Montana ? " 

Captain Marion grew a little redder and hotter than was usual 
with him. 

" I see that Trescoe's in a bad humour about him, and I don't 
say that he's quite wrong. As you seem to know something about 
this, Aquitaine, and as you come to the point, I must say I do wish 
my daughter Katherine did not express her admiration of Montana 
quite so openly. I don't wonder if Trescoe is annoyed, and I think 
he ought to have stopped it long ago ; but then one must not blame 
the girl He is very handsome, very fascinating, and kind to women 
in a grave, fatherly sort of way, and honourable and all that ; and you 
know, Aquitaine, she is not the only one." 

" No," said Aquitaine with a sigh, " she is not. There are 
others as foolish as she ; and I wish to God my little girl had never 
seen him : I wish to God you had never seen him. His coming 
has only brought discomfort to us all, and it is well if it does not 
bring some unhappiness before we have done with it." 

io The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Marion himself was not without some of the same uneasy feeling; 
but he was loyal to his friend, who, he honestly believed, was 
misjudged and misprized; and he would not give him up. He 
thought, however, it would be well to make some change in the 
arrangements he had laid out for the holiday — the holiday which was 
to have brought so much pleasure, and which already seemed withering 
away into mere discomfort. He thought, perhaps, it would be well 
that Trescoe and his wife should go to the Continent at once, and 
leave the rest of them to follow : that would be something. Aqui- 
taine, of course, could easily take his daughter home whenever he 
would, and that would remove another embarrassment There 
would only remain Sydney Marion and Geraldine, neither of whom 
appeared particularly sensitive to Montana's attractions. Thus, 
Marion thought, things would all go right again, and he would really 
get from Montana a clear, precise, business-like explanation — he 
laid great emphasis mentally on the word " business-like " — of his 
project in all its details. Captain Marion actually felt business-like 
as he mentally repeated the word. It seemed to him to solve much 
of the difficulty. Yes, it must come to that, of course, in the end, 
even between the closest friends. Business-like it must be ; busi- 
ness-like — he was resolved on that. 

His daughter Katherine came upon him that moment. Aquitaine 
had left the room. 

" Things seem pretty bad, papa," she observed. " I never saw 
Frank in such moods as he is getting into lately. He talks of taking 
me away to the Continent at once." 

" Well, well," said Marion, " I think he is quite right. I wonder 
he did not do it before. You know I spoke to you, my dear, about 
this. I told you your goings-on about Montana would never do ; 
people would be sure to misunderstand them." 

" I am sure I don't know what I have done," Katherine 
expostulated. " You all rave about him, or at least you did as long 
as you liked ; and because I can't help thinking him a handsome 
man and a very agreeable man, everybody is down upon me. Frank 
is changed altogether; he goes on as if I had done something 

" No, no, Katherine, don't talk in that flippant way ; it is painful. 
Nobody supposes you have ever done or thought anything improper. 
But it does not look well when you women get vying with each 
other in admiration about any man ; and I can't blame Frank for 
not liking that kind of thing — no husband would like it. Be a good 

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The Comet of a Season. n 

girl, my dear, and a sensible girl, and drop it, in heaven's name ; and 
Frank and you will get on as well as ever." 

" I don't think you ought to listen to silly stories and scandals," 
said Katherine ; " I can tell you, papa, if you mind everything that 
everybody says, you would find that I am not the only member ot 
the family people are talking about." 

"No?" said Marion. "Sydney in the swim too? Well, I 
certainly should not have thought of that" He was rather amused 
than otherwise at Katherine's attempt, as he understood it. 

" Oh, no, it is not Sydney," his daughter coldly answered. 

" Well, but there aren't any more of you. If it is not Sydney, I 
don't know who it is." 

" There is one more of us, papa," said Katherine. " We are 
three, are we not ? " 

" Oh, it concerns me, then," said Marion ; " and pray, my dear, 
what do people say about me? " 

" They say that you admire Geraldine Rowan a great deal, papa, 
and that Sydney and I are to have her soon as our step-mother. I 
am sure I don't wonder. I think she is a very good girl and a very 
charming girl, and I don't see what you could do better. But if 
people talk about us you need not wonder, for I can assure you they 
talk about you just as well." 

This was a startling piece of news to Captain Marion. For a 
while he was silent ; more than silent : he was absolutely speechless. 
This had never occurred to him before. He had never thought it 
possible that the idea would come into anybody's head. He had 
gone about with Geraldine just as freely, as if she were his own 
daughter, and it always seemed to him that the mere fact of a man's 
having grown daughters ought to exempt him altogether from gossip 
of that kind. Was it possible that any people could talk in that way 
because he was seen occasionally with a young woman whose age 
was no greater than that of the youngest of his own girls ? 

" What stupid nonsense !" he exclaimed at last. 

" Well, yes, of course, if you say it is nonsense," Katherine said, 
with a malicious tone in her voice, "and if you really mean that I 
should believe everything you said, papa, and if you say you really 
don't intend anything of the kind, of course that is enough for me. 
But you mustn't wonder if outsiders are not so easily convinced ; and 
then, you know, much more unlikely things have happened. We hear 
every day of girls marrying men who are years and years older than you, 
and not half so good-looking or attractive ; and I must say that our 

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12 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Geraldine is a very attentive girl, and does cling on to you in a very 
friendly, fond kind of way — highly natural, to be sure, and a proper 
expression of gratitude on her part ; only the world is apt to think 
that that sort of thing sooner or later ends in a wedding-ring, don't 
you know, papa. Anyhow, that is what people say, and I thought it 
only kindness to tjell you." 

" Great kindness, indeed, 1 ' Marion said, " very great kindness, 
and very pleasant to hear, too. How can people say such things, 
and how can other people listen to them ? I believe it is always one's 
own family who listen most readily to any silly gossip about one." 

" Quite so," said Katherine, with a sigh as significant as italics ; 
" exactly; that is just what I was saying before we struck on this 
subject of conversation. The members of my own family were the 
first, indeed I think the only persons, to listen to foolish gossip 
about me. So you see, papa, after all, we are in the same boat. It 
is very sad. They talk silly gossip about us all ; but it is a comfort 
that our consciences are at rest, and we can bear it" 

Katherine disappeared, happy at having discharged her shaft, and 
believing that by doing so she had secured two great objects : 
satisfaction for her personal anger, and immunity from any further 
criticism with regard to her conduct. 

The condition of things was not made pleasanter by Mr. 
Aquitaine's sudden announcement of his resolve to take Melissa back 
to the North with him. She could return to London later, he said, 
when they were to start for the Continent ; but in the meanwhile she 
must go home with him. Perhaps her mother wanted her ; anyhow, 
she must go. Melissa was not in the least taken in by the suggestion 
that her mother might possibly want her. Her mother had never 
wanted her in her life, or for that matter, wanted anybody else. To be 
allowed to lie on a sofa and do nothing was Mrs. Aquitaine's highest 
idea of enjoyment ; and enjoyment with her was always a duty. 
Melissa knew well enough why she was taken home. She knew that her 
father was taking her away from Montana's presence, and that he must 
suspect quite enough to turn him into a watchful guardian of her, and 
to make her life with him an uneasy one for the present, and some- 
thing very different from what it used to be. She had, however, 
no choice but to submit. She did not even think of resistance. 
Geraldine and Sydney hurried off with her to help her in making her 
preparations and packing her trunks. Geraldine and she hardly 
exchanged a word on the subject, except once when Sydney Marion 
had left them together, and the poor girl clasped Miss Rowan's hand, 
and said, " Oh, Geraldine, thank you ever so much for having got 

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Tfie Comet of a Season. 13 

me back my letter ! Is not my father changed ? Thank God, he 
does not know all ! Oh, here's Sydney ! " 

That was all that passed between Geraldine and her, but it was 
enough to make Geraldine feel new pity for the foolish little girl, 
and new gladness that, at any risk to herself, she had got back 
Melissa's letter. 

There was a strange embarrassment in Geraldine's manner to 
Captain Marion and in his to her. These two had taken so frank a 
liking to each other from the very beginning, that they might almost 
have seemed to any observer, or seemed to each other, like an affec- 
tionate father and daughter. There was something in the nature of 
the one specially sympathetic with that of the other. Geraldine was 
so much more intelligent than either of Marion's own daughters that 
she had obtained a sort of leadership over his sweet sunny temper, 
and his sympathetic but not very vigorous nature. It was strange 
that when they were parting now, and he was going on a journey 
which he thought might be productive of some momentous conse- 
quences, they two should not be confidential, should be restrained in 
manner to each other. Geraldine was embarrassed because of the 
secrets she was keeping. She felt at moments strongly inclined to 
unburden her mind to Captain Marion, to tell him all, at least so far 
as her part of the story was concerned, and trust to him to guide 
and guard her. This she felt at moments inclined to do, and then 
shrank back from the confession. Had she been left alone with 
Marion at this time, it would have probably come to a disclosure of 
all her feelings and her troubles. But she had not the opportunity, 
and the condition of her mind, divided between a wish to disclose all 
to him and a shrinking back from any disclosure, put into her manner 
an embarrassment which was almost distressing to herself, and which 
Marion could not but see. Naturally, after the hints that Katherine 
had so kindly given him, he felt embarrassed in Geraldine's presence. 
He had never before for one moment thought of himself as playing 
in anybody's mind the part of a lover and future husband to the girl. 
He saw GeTaldine's embarrassment, and assumed that it came from 
the same source as his own. Therefore they parted, not coldly, but 
without the affectionate warmth that would have been frankly made 
manifest at another time. All this added new discomfort to 
Marion's unwilling journey north. Nor did he know how he and 
she were ever again to associate on the same frank, sweet, and 
friendly terms as those which had always prevailed until Montana's 
ill-omened coming and Katherine's ill-natured story. 

The parting was melancholy. Everyone seemed to feel that the 

14 The GentUmatis Magazine. 

promised reunion of its members was a promise in which nobody 
believed. None of them expected to see that little group united 
again, or had any faith now in the long-looked-for continental trip. 
Katherine was perhaps the only one of the party who was a little 
glad at the breaking up, and whose distress, at all events, was solely 
on her own account For several reasons she was glad that Melissa 
was going away, and would have been rejoiced if Geraldine had been 
going too. 

" I have written to Clement Hope," said Captain Marion, turning 
back just as he was leaving. lt I have sent a messenger to him with 
the letter. I am uneasy about him, and about his father. As I 
shan't be here when the answer comes, one of you girls can open it 
Do whatever you think best, if there is anything to be done." 

At last the parting was made. " There were some tears amongst 
the girls and some awkwardness amongst the men, and then the 
separation was accomplished, and Geraldine, Katherine, and Sydney 
were left alone — alone, that is to say, except for the guardianship of 
Mr. Trescoe, who seemed only too glad to escape their company and 
to smoke a sullen cigar all to himself. 

Chapter XXI. 


The house was very dreary to the three forlorn young women. It 
seemed as if they were to have a dull monotonous evening of it 
Sydney was out of spirits; Katherine was out of temper; Geraldine 
was full of nameless bodings, expecting at every moment that some- 
thing strange would happen. It was not long before the messenger 
came back with an answer from Clement Hope. Clement's letter was 
short and sad. It only said that his father had fallen suddenly ill a 
day or two ago, and was growing worse and worse ; that he began to 
be alarmed about him ; that Mr. Varlowe would not see any doctor, 
and if Captain Marion could spare half an hour it would be a relief 
to Clement to see him, for he was alone. 

" What is to be done?" Sydney Marion asked, looking blankly at 
her companions. 

" Oh, somebody must go to him at once," said Geraldine. " You 
can't leave the poor boy all alone in that dismal old house, with his 
father perhaps dying. Somebody must go to him at once." 

"All very well, Geraldine," Sydney reasoned; "but who is to go? 
Papa won't be back for days ; Frank is out." 

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The Comet of a Season. 15 

" Frank wouldn't be of any use," his wife declared. 

"Somebody must go, all the same," said Geraldine. "I will go 
if nobody else does," 

" You'll go ? " Sydney exclaimed, amazed out of all her ideas of 
propriety and the fitness of things ; " but, my dear Geraldine, you 
can't go." 

" Why not ? " Geraldine asked. 

" You don't mean to say you would go alone and see Mr. Hope ?" 

" No, I shan't go alone," said Geraldine, "because, Sydney, you 
will go with me." 

" Oh, no, dear," said Sydney, " I can't do that ; I could not do 
it That would not be proper at all. It would be ridiculous. What 
could we do to help Mr. Hope ? We could do nothing." 

" But it is not a case of doing anything. It is a case of having 
somebody near him to say a friendly word. Will you come, 

" I think you had better go, Katherine," said Sydney, " if some- 
body must go ; if Geraldine will have it." 

- 4t Indeed I will," Geraldine said ; "I am going to put on my 
things this moment." 

" I can't believe that you are really going," said Sydney, remon- 

" Well," Geraldine replied composedly, " if you will look out of 
the window, and will only accept the evidence of your senses, in five 
minutes you will see me get into a hansom cab, and if you can hear 
through the noise in the streets, you will hear me tell the cabman to 
go to Mr. Hope's house." 

"Then, you had really better go with her, Katherine," said 
Sydney. " You are a married woman." 

Geraldine smiled. " That will give an air of perfect propriety. 
Come, then, Katherine ; I shall be delighted to take you with me. 
The protection of a married woman will be an unspeakable comfort 
and satisfaction to me." 

" I can't go," Mrs. Trescoe said. " Frank may come back at any 
moment. He might not like it." 

" Oh, to be sure," said Geraldine ; " he might not like it ; and of 
course you could not think of taking any step without first consulting 
him, and having his permission." 

This was sarcastic. Geraldine was growing annoyed. 

" I should not like to go," said Katherine. " I don't think I 
ought to go. I don't see that it is any affair of mine. I can't assist 
the young man." 

1 6 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

Kathcrine expected Montana to come in that evening, and she 
was only too delighted at the chance of having him all to herself, or 
nearly all to herself. 

" Then, you won't go ? M Geraldine asked her decisively. 

" I can't go," said Katherine. " I can't go running all over the 
town after everybody who chooses to fall sick. If I fell sick myself, 
I should not expect Mr. Hope's father to come and see me." 

" All right," said Geraldine ; " I am going, anyhow." 

" If you will go," said Sydney, " somebody must go with you, 
and I will go. I will do anything rather than leave you to go alone. 
Yes, I will go." She spoke with the heroic resolve of a soldier who 
is determined to lead a forlorn hope, even though he himself has no 
faith in his mission. She compressed her lips. Her cheeks were pale 
as she spoke the resolve to do or die. If Geraldine must rush into 
the jaws of impropriety, it should not be said that she rushed there 
alone— that no friend stood by her to save her from the danger, or 
to share it and perish with her. Sydney Marion at that moment 
knew herself a heroine. 

Geraldine laughed good-humouredly at the resolve. 

" Well, come along, then, as quickly as possible. There is no 
time to be lost We need not spend many moments in bedizening 
ourselves. We are not going to a dinner party or a ball : come along, 
Sydney." She swept poor Sydney out of the room, and presently 
Katherine, looking out of the window, saw the two girls get into 
a hansom cab and drive away. 

Very dim and dismal looked the old house in the fading light of 
grey evening as the girls got out at the gate. There was an atmo- 
sphere of decay and of death all around it. The gravel crunched 
under their feet with a melancholy, disheartening sound that 
brought funereal omens. The knocker, although they used it as 
gently as possible, seemed to send ghostly cavernous echoes through 
the house. An old woman who opened the door seemed a little 
surprised at seeing the girls ; and when they asked for Mr. Hope, the 
sensitive conscience of Sydney Marion made her believe there was a 
look of startled propriety on the aged lady's fece. She brought them 
into a large, gaunt, heavily-furnished dining-room, and left them to 
wait there. 

" I am afraid we ought not to have come," said Sydney in a low 
awe-stricken voice. "I don't think it looks right, Geraldine. I 
don't think that old woman looks pleased to see us." 

" My dear," said Geraldine, " I did not come to see that old 
woman, and I don't care whether she looks pleased or displeased. If 

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The Comet of a Season. ty 

t can't be of any use, I am sure Mr. Hope would rather I did not 
stay. Then I can go away. There is no harm done, don't you see* 
in any case." 

41 But," Sydney pleaded, " two girls coming alone in this way to 
see a young man— do you really — now, really — think it is quite 
right ? I know you get extraordinary ideas — girls in America ; but in 
England, you know — this is England — " 

" This certainly is England ; there I entirely agree with you." 

44 WeU, don't you think it strange ? " 

" I don't think it strange," said Geraldine, " that girls should like 
to be of some help to somebody— even in England ; and if it is 
strange, the sooner we get over the strangeness the better. Anyhow, 
here we are, and we can't run away — at least, I don't mean to." 

The door opened, and Clement entered, looking very handsome 
for all his melancholy, and with a flush on his face caused by surprise 
and the excitement of seeing his unexpected visitors. He rushed 
up to them and clasped warmly a hand of each. 

44 Now, this is so good and kind of you ! I wrote to Captain 
Marion, and I never expected that anybody else would come." 

44 He would have come," said Geraldine, " but he had to leave 
town, and can't return perhaps for a day or two. We thought some- 
body ought to come, and so we came at once." 

This was heaping coals of fire upon the head of Sydney, this use of 
the word " we;" thus taking her into the enterprise, and making her a 
full sharer in the evident credit it gave them in Clement Hope's eyes. 

44 Can we be of any use ? " Sydney said, taking courage. 

41 Oh, yes," Clement answered, with looks beaming with grati- 
tude, " you can. I am so lonely here. I don't know what to do. 
My father never was ill before. I never saw anyone ill." 

44 May we go and see him ? " Geraldine asked. 

Sydney Marion felt that she could hardly stand erect while things 
were going on like this. In one moment they were being carried 
away to see a sick man in his very bedroom ! True, he was an old 
man ; but old or young— only think 1 Two girls thus taken off to see 
him, before they had time to collect their thoughts, and taken off 
under the escort of a young man 1 

Geraldine was both helpful and skilful. She had not been in 
the sick man's room a moment before she began altering its arrange- 
ments. She opened a window here, drew down a curtain there, 
quietly displaced chairs, felt the old man's hot hands and his damp 
forehead, sprinkled the room with aromatic vinegar, and seemed to 
find something to do in every corner. Sydney stood by helpless, 

iS The Gentleman's Magazine. 

looking sympathetic and feeling so, but not having the least idea of 
anything she could do to help anyone. 

Geraldine meanwhile was putting questions all the time to 
Clement, in a low tone, about his father's condition — when he had 
begun to grow ill ; when his mind had begun to wander. 

" He would not have a doctor," Clement said; "he never would; 
the bare idea makes him angry." 

" Still, I think you must have a doctor now," Geraldine said ; 
"and you must have a nurse at once — a really helpful one, not some 
dreadful old Mrs. Gamp. I will go myself— Sydney and I will go 
and find out something about a nurse. There is nothing we can do 
here just for the present, and we will come back again." 

In a moment they were out of the gate and on the main road, 
looking for a hansom cab. 

" Do you know any tiling about nurses ? " Sydney asked. 

" Nothing at all ; but we must get one." 

" Do you know where to go for one ? " 

" No, I don't think I do ; but we can easily find out, can't we?" 

"What an extraordinary girl you are !" Sydney said. " You don't 
know London particularly well ; you don't know anything about a 
nursing institution ; you don't know where to go and find a nurse ; 
and yet you say you will find one." 

" Of course," said Geraldine composedly. 

" But what will you do first? " 

" Well, I think the best thing we can do is to go into a chemist's 
somewhere, and ask. Perhaps he will show us a directory, or tell us 
something about a nursing institution, and then we can go there. It 
is all quite easy. What on earth is your difficulty?" 

They found a nurse ; they found a doctor. The difficulties that 
Sydney dreaded began to disappear with marvellous rapidity. They 
went home and left a message for Mrs. Trescoe to say that they 
might possibly stay out all night Sydney had by this time plunged 
so deeply into utter lawlessness and impropriety, that she had almost 
lost all consciousness of the conventionalities of maiden decorum, 
and would not have been surprised or shocked at any resolve Geral- 
dine might announce. They went back to the sick man's house. 
The doctor did not think there was much to be done more than to 
have Mr. Varlowe carefully watched and nursed. He shook his 
head over the case ; but took it with the practical composure of the 
physician to whom all that sort of thing is commonplace, and who 
regards the death of a patient as an event of no greater moment 
than his starting off on a railway journey. He persisted in regarding 

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The Comet of a Season. 19 

Geraldine as Clement's sister, and complimented her on being more 
composed than her brother. She explained the real state of facts to. 
him; but he did not pay any attention. He told her two or 
three stories of persons exactly like Mr. Variowe in age, condition, 
and temperament, who, having previously enjoyed good health, were 
suddenly taken ill like him and died. But of course, he said, it 
did not necessarily follow that Mr. Variowe was to die ; only it was as 
well to be prepared. He said he would call in the morning, and see 
how things were looking. Geraldine was glad when he went away. 

Geraldine was standing in a room on the ground floor, which 
served as a library or study for Clement in ordinary times. She was 
looking out upon the canal. It was the season of the year when 
there is hardly any night. The grey of twilight is succeeded imper- 
ceptibly by the grey of dawn ; the one day hardly dead before the 
other begins to live. Her thoughts were going back to another 
house of death, in which, too, she had watched the dawn succeed 
the dusk, and tears came into her eyes. Clement entered the room, 
and she kept her face turned to the window, that he might not see 
her tears. The sound of wheels was heard, and a brougham stopped 
at the door. 

Cl Look, Miss Rowan," Clement said ; " here is Mr. Montana. 
Is it not like him to come in this way ? I might have known he 
would come ; but I didn't think of it. I never sent for him." 

Geraldine made no answer. A nameless fear went through her. 
She thought there was something unnatural, something unholy ia 
Montana's appearance at the death-bed of the old man, whose death 
she felt sure was hastened by Montana's own words and acts. 
Whether Montana was true man or false, this was true all the same. 
Yet she could not help thinking that Montana must be right. It 
was surely impossible that he could voluntarily present himself at 
the death-bed of a father whom he had repudiated, and whose 
death, in all human probability, his cruelty and treachery had 
brought about. " I must have wronged him," she thought 

Montana came in, quiet, sweet, not surprised at anything; ac- 
cepting Geraldine's presence there as if it were in the ordinary course 
of things. 

" I called at Captain Marion's," he explained, " and Mrs. Trescoe 
kindly told me of what had happened. I thought perhaps I could 
be of some service, and I came on ; I would have come long before 
this, only I did not know of it Mrs. Trescoe only told me as I was 
leaving ; she probably thought I knew. Mr. Trescoe offered to come 
with me, but it was not necessary. We are quite enough." 

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20 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" You are very, very kind," Clement said, " but you must not stay 
too long." 

" I shall stay for the present," Montana answered ; " I shan't leave 
you alone here, Clement" 

" Miss Rowan was so kind as to come " 

" It was just what I should have expected of Miss Rowan, 1 * 
Montana said] and Geraldine was really pleased. 

Geraldine felt that she could almost have admired Montana at 
that time. She began now to understand how it was that in moments 
of excitement, or even of danger, brave men could look to him, as 
she knew they had done, could ask for his guidance, and could trust 
to it The moment he entered the place, he took, as it were, the 
command of everything. A sense of relief and security, of something 
almost like happiness, settled upon the watchers in that melancholy 
house the moment he had come. It was as when the captain, 
suddenly aroused in the night of storm, takes charge of the vessel 
himself, or when a veteran general is hastily summoned to the leader- 
ship of a distressed army. Montana knew something — knew a good 
deal, indeed — of medicine and of surgery, and understood all that 
pertains to the hygiene of the sick chamber. He was quite easy and 
firm ; had an eye for everything that needed to be done, and knew 
exactly what every one of that little party best could do. To Geral- 
dine he said once, dropping the words into her ear as he passed, 
«•' There is really nothing to be done that can be of much service. We 
can only smooth the way for him. The time is not far distant" 

Geraldine gave a little start She had expected so much, and yet 
it was a shock to hear it. 

" Is it a question of days ? " she asked 

41 Of days at the most," he said. " Very likely a question of 

Geraldine noticed that he spoke to Clement in a more reassuring 
way— not, indeed, holding out any hope, but still speaking with less 
suggestion of immediate danger. 

§i Clement, my dear boy," he said in his kindliest tone, "there is 
something I want you to do for me. It is not much use your being 
here just now, and it would do you good to move about a little. I have 
something at my lodgings which I think would be very soothing and re- 
freshing for our poor old friend, and which I have often found to act 
with good effect in restoring consciousness to a wandering mind and 
failing nerves. It is a mixture that the Indians make out of various 
roots and barks of trees. You can easily find it Go to my lodgings 
as quickly as you can— here is my latch-key— -afid in my bedroom, 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

The Cornel of a Season. 2 1 

in the dressing-case — this is the key of it — you will find this one 
bottle. I have a little stock of it, but I only keep just one bottle 
there for use. Bring it back. No one could find it so well as you 
except myself, and I really think I am likely to be of more use here 
than you are. When you come back, we can try it with our dear old 
friend, and I feel sure it will do him good." 

Geraldine was present when this was said She looked surprised. 
It seemed strange that Mr. Montana should send Clement out of the 
way just then, but she assumed that it was done with the kindly 
purpose of distracting the young man's attention, and giving him 
something to do. He really was rather in the way than otherwise 
when he remained in the sick man's room, or near it But she could 
not help thinking, "Suppose Mr. Varlowe should die in the mean* 

Clement went his way, however, without a word. 

Chapter XXII. 


Geraldine felt unutterably miserable and lonely when Clement 
led the house. She stood at the window looking after him. Montana 
spoke a word or two to her which she did not answer — which perhaps 
she did not even hear. Then he went quietly away to resume his 
place in the sick man's room. It seemed to Geraldine something 
unspeakably strange that Clement should be sent out of the house at 
such a time. She had an ominous conviction that something would 
happen while he was away. The house appeared not merely to have 
become more gloomy than ever because of his absence ; but there 
was a certain sense of terror — nameless, but very real — diffused all 
around. So, at least, it seemed to Geraldine's overstrung nerves. 

She remained brooding over disheartening fancies until it sud- 
denly occurred to her that she had not come to that house to occupy 
herself in idle broodings, but to give some active help. She was 
going quietly back to the sick room when she met the nurse, who 
told her that Mr. Varlowe was sleeping pleasantly, and that she, the 
nurse, was going to make some tea; which, she observed, she thought 
would do the young ladies some good; thereby delicately implying 
that it was merely on the young ladies' account she thought of 
making it Geraldine declined the tea just then, wondering mean- 
while at the cool f practical, professional way qf taking things ^rhich |§ 

22 The Gentlemaris Magazine. 

so readily acquired by those who have to do with sickness and death 
as matters of business. She went upstairs to the sick room. 
As she was near its door, Sydney came out for something, and, 
meeting Geraldine, told her that Mr. Montana was alone with 
the sick man ; and with scared face, Sydney added that she was 
afraid Mr. Varlowe would not live until Clement's return. 

Geraldine hurried noiselessly into the room, feeling, in a vague 
kind of way, that somebody besides Montana ought to be present at 
the old man's last moments. She opened the door very quietly. 
The dawn was broadening through the windows. The lamp looked 
very pale. One of the blinds was drawn up, and she could see the 
trees and the waters of the canal in the growing light The birds 
began to sing. She remembered always, afterwards, having heard 
them as she stood for one moment on the threshold. 

. "Why she stood there and did not instantly go in, she did not 
know. She saw Montana kneeling by the bedside. She saw that 
he had taken Mr. Varlowe's hand in his; she was confident, somehow, 
from the old man's attitude, though she could not see his face, that 
he had returned for a moment to consciousness, in that lighting up 
before death of which poets as well as nurses tell us ; and if she was 
not dreaming, or if her senses were not racked by unusual tension 
beyond their sober trustworthiness, she heard Montana utter the 
word "father." Then she saw the poor father trying to rise in his 
bed, and extending his other hand over Montana's bowed head, as if 
in forgiveness and in blessing ; and she heard him murmur the words 
" Edmund, Edmund, my son ! come back at last 1 " and then a sort 
of shiver seemed to go through him which shook the bed under him, 
and he fell back. Mr. Varlowe was dead. But there was still upon 
his face a smile of sweet satisfaction and comfort and peace. If 
Geraldine was not the victim of a mere phantasy, Mr. Varlowe had 
died with a full conviction that his lost son had come back to him, 
and prayed for his forgiveness, and offered him love. 

Geraldine surely did see and hear all this ? She could not be 
mistaken. The light was streaming in, grey but clear, through the 
windows, and indeed the figure of Montana stood out in what seemed 
an almost unnatural distinctness. She was touched to the heart ; she 
was disposed to forgive him all his past disloyalty to his father for this 
one act of penitence and submission. What true woman is not deeply 
moved by the penitence of a man ? It was for this, then, that he had 
come— to make atonement and pray for pardon. For the first time 
since she had known him, Geraldine felt as if she could be in 
sympathy with Montana, could admire him, could believe in the 

The Comet of a Season. 23 

possibility of his being true and great. She felt ashamed of having, 
even unconsciously, broken in upon the sacred privacy of that most 
tender, touching scene of recognition. Yet she was glad that she had 
seen it, glad to know that Montana did not see her or anybody, and 
was simply acting on the impulse of that heart which, after all, 
it was now evident he must have. But she now felt as if she ought 
to steal softly out of the room and not allow Montana to suspect 
that anyone had been present at that pathetic and tender scene. 
She was already drawing back, about to close the door behind 
her, and to leave the reconciled father and son alone. Tears were 
springing to her eyes, and indeed, if she could at that time have 
spoken to Montana alone and exactly as she felt, there is no knowing 
what gushing words of impulsive sympathy she might not have 
poured forth. But in a moment, as some scene changes in a 
theatre, as the evening clouds change, as the face of a pool gets 
broken and transfigured by the wind, the whole condition of things 
was altered. Montana was now aware of her presence, and all the 
attitude of penitence, the words of affection, the touch of reconcilia- 
tion, were over. She now saw Montana standing composedly erect 
beside the bed, in the attitude befitting some kindly sympathising 
stranger who knows that another sympathising stranger is in the 
room with him and has seen the last moments of a dying friend. 
One instant of time, one hardly appreciable instant, had made that 

"It is all over," Montana said with the composure which was 
his characteristic; unmoved, but not unsympathetic. "He is 
released. It was a peaceful ending." 

"Oh, why was not Clement here?" Geraldine asked in awe- 
stricken whisper. " Why did you send him away ? " 

" It was much better he should not be here," Montana answered. 
" He is spared a pain." 

"Spared a pain! He will never forgive himself. I should 
never forgive myself if I were he. He will never forgive you, if you 
sent him away purposely." 

" I did not send him away purposely ; I had hopes that the poor 
old man might live a little longer ; and if we could have got the mix- 
ture I sent for, I think it would have restored him to consciousness. 
But is it not better as it is?" They both spoke in the lowest 
whisper, afraid, it would seem, to disturb that sacred stillness. " I 
have often seen that the soul struggling to be released from its 
prison of clay is kept back by the sight of some loved one's face. I 
have seen dying men suffer a moment of evident agony in this way. 

24 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

Believe me, it is much better as it is — much better that the poor old 
man should die with only you and me — strangers, kindly strangers — 
looking on" 

Then the nurse came in, and Sydney Marion and Geraldine left 
the room. Had she really fended all that strange scene by the 
old man's deathbed ? Was Montana speaking but the truth when 
he talked of Mr. Varlowe dying in the presence of two kindly 
strangers ? Surely she had seen what she thought she saw ; surely 
she had heard the words whose echo she found still ringing in her 
ears. She had heard Montana call Mr. Varlowe " Father," and had 
heard the old man's parting cry of joy and gratitude. And yet 
there was Montana, sympathetic indeed, but cool and composed as 
ever, giving reasons why it was better that no really loved one should 
be present to distract the old man's dying thoughts. 

She hurried from the chamber of death out into the garden 
looking on the canaL Summer though it was, the dawn came up 
chilly, as it mostly does in these climes, and a cool wind blew upon 
Geraldine as she looked at the sky and the water and the grass, and 
felt only like one who dreams. 

In a moment or two she heard a step beside her, and Montana 
was there. " Strange," he said, " that we should be so shocked at 
death. I am not so myself. I think that when we cease to have 
business in life, the best thing that could happen to us is to die. 
People talk of this thing or that being an object worth dying for* 
I don't think that is much praise to give to anything. Tell us that 
an object is worth living for : there you show its value." 

Geraldine was so bewildered by her doubts as to what she had 
seen or not seen, that the sense of mystery gave to Montana, in her 
eyes, an almost appalling interest. Was it conceivable of human 
nature that a man should thus arise from kneeling beside his father's 
deathbed, and coldly put his father's memory away from him, and 
repudiate and disclaim him, and seem in no wise troubled by doing 
all this, show none of the strain of conscious deceit? This was a 
psychological puzzle which Geraldine could not have explained, let 
her try her best. She had not, indeed, given much thought at any 
time to the phenomena of imposture. Like most other persons, she 
thought of imposture as always deliberate and self-conscious. She 
did not know how often the impostor succeeds in at least half 
deceiving himself how often he succeeds in wholly deceiving himself 
with regard to questions on which there is a possibility of doubt 
Nor had she ever considered how vast, how illimitable, is the capacity 
«f certain human beings for persuading themselves into a belief of 

Tlie Comet of a Season. 25 

the actual truth of anything which they desire to have true. Not 
understanding all this, or thinking of it, she began to question some 
of her convictions about Montana, despite what she had seen in 
Mr. Varlowe's room. She began to wonder whether it was not 
possible that Montana, after all, might not be the old man's son, that 
the words he had spoken might have meant only something of a 
symbolical kindness, the watcher by the bedside taking for a moment 
the part of son to the dying man by virtue of the common re- 
. lationship of all human beings. We do not say that Geraldine 
admitted this conclusion, but the thought flickered across her 
mind, and -flickered with a special vividness at this particular moment 
while she stood and looked at Montana. In any case, be the solu- 
tion what it might, he was becoming more and more a bewildering 
study to her. She felt a growing fascination in his look, in the 
power he was beginning to exert over her, and in her own bewilder- 
ing conjectures about him. She was growing into a frame of mind 
with regard to him which was puzzling and alarming to himself. " I 
must escape soon and somehow from all this," she thought " I 
could not endure this much longer." 

It may be that in her excited condition she spoke these words, or 
some of them, aloud. It may be only that Montana guessed at what 
thoughts were in her mind He was fond of showing himself capable 
of reading the thoughts of people in this way ; he sometimes made a 
profound impression on his votaries by answering aloud to their un- 
spoken questions. 

" You are right," Montana said calmly; "you must leave this 
place. This old world is used up; its associations soon grow 
oppressive to all free spirits. I must leave it soon too— I have work 
to do ; and you must join me in it." 

Geraldine turned, and looked appealingly at him. 

"What do you want of me, Mr. Montana? Why do you 
persecute me? I have often told you what I feel. I do not trust 
you — I am afraid of you ; I was not at first — I am now." 

" I knew it, Geraldine ; I am glad of it You begin to see what 
reality there is in me ; you will trust me some time. You may trust 
me ; I should never change to you." 

" You would sacrifice anything," she said vehemently, "or any- 
one, to any purpose of your own." 

He smiled. " To any great purpose or any great work I would 
sacrifice myself readily — or anybody else, perhaps. But so would 
you — I know it ; I c*n see it in everything you do ; I can see it in 
your eyes. That is one reason why I want you to be join 

26 The Gentletnatis Magazine. 

me in my work, once for all. Come ! " He took her hand in his ; she 
tried to draw it away, but he held it with a quiet strength, and she 
did not care to make a humiliating show of resistance. " Come, 
Geraldine, consent to join me ; it will be work worthy of you. My 
love for you isn't like that of a romantic boy for a silly girl ; it is 
something deep and strong and sacred. 1 ' 

" You make me so unhappy ! " she said piteously. 

" 111 make you happy in the future," he answered ; " and make 
you famous too." 

These words made her impatient, and gave her courage. 

" Really, I can't imagine myself becoming great and famous," 
she said, and she withdrew her hand from his, and he did not insist 
on holding it His eloquence moved her much less than his silent 
gaze. " I can't fancy myself at the head of any wonderful movement, 
Mr. Montana, and I am not ambitious." 

" Every woman is ambitious for herself or some one else ; and 
yours would be the noble ambition of benefiting millions. . .We 
should come back to the old world from time to time, and compare 
its worn-out decaying life with that fresh new life of freedom and 
equality and progress which we had called into being under brighter 
skies. We should compare the climate of England, its fogs, its 
damps, its chills, its wretchedness, with our glorious suns and stars 
and soft warm air. Look how the morning rises here ; the damp of 
death is on it" 

" The damp of death is on everything round us here just now," 
Geraldine said with a chilly shudder. " Death is so near us ; there, 
only just behind those closed shutters. Do you think this is the 
time, Mr. Montana, or the place, to talk of ambitions and schemes, 
and loves and manyings ? " 

" I do," Montana answered ; " the right time — the right place. 
Death reminds us that we too must die ; and we must see all the 
more reason for making use of the life we have." 

" Clement is here," Geraldine suddenly said. She saw the young 
man coming up the road ; he looked pale and haggard in the ghastly 
dawn. She could have cried aloud with gladness and relief at his 
coming, even though she dreaded to meet him, now that he was too 
late. For the moment, it must be owned, she thought most of the 
escape that his coming allowed her to make. 

" 111 not stay to speak to him," she said ; " I dare not — I could 
not tell him that his rather died, and he away — sent away." 

" 111 meet him," Montana said composedly ; " I hope to be able 

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The Comet of a Season. 27 

to show him that all has been for the best. But you need not stay, 
Geraldine ; you are tired ; we can speak of all this again." 

u Never, never, if I can possibly help it," she said ; and she fled 
into the house. Miserable, lonely, phantom-haunted as it was, filled 
everywhere with the presence of death, it was a refuge and a shelter 
to her now. 

(To be continued.) 

Digitized by 


28 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


FOR a period of time longer than the ten years' siege of Troy, the 
choicest and most gifted of Greek scholars in this country and in 
America have been at work on the revision of the Authorised Version of 
the New Testament, and the outcome of their combined labour, scholar- 
ship, and skill is now before the English race, which has pronounced 
what on the whole appears an unfavourable verdict upon it To the 
majority of critics the revisers seem to have done what they ought 
not to have done, and to have left undone what they ought to have 
done. By none has their work been commended as a complete 
success, by many it has been condemned as a complete failure; 
while it appears that the revisers themselves, as a body, are not 
over-satisfied with what they have done. Whom will it satisfy? It 
cannot satisfy the reasonable demands of the Greek scholar, as will 
be shown hereafter, for it does not render adequate justice to the 
Greek original It cannot hope for a cordial welcome from the un- 
lettered Christian, who will look with a disappointed eye and a 
depressed heart at this presentation of a dear and familiar friend, 
not merely in a new dress, but with altered features. Nor can it 
claim the admiration of the English scholar, who will naturally be 
moved with a feeling of indignation when he finds in it the usages 
of the language he knows so well and loves so dearly trampled in the 
dust by the foot of pedantry. Much less can it ever win the homage 
of men who believe, with the editors of the " Speaker's Commentary n 
and the wise men of the Northern Convocation, that the only revision 
needed was the introduction of an occasional correction or explana- 
tion in the margin of the authorised text of the English Bible, whose 
very nature and character and history demand for it a full exemption 
from the perils of revision ; for no translation of the Bible into any 
language has been so universally read, none so familiarly known, 
none so fully animated with the spirit of the original, none so 
inseparably intertwined with the literature and language, with the 
heart and the mind of a people, as the English Authorised 

r * Digitized by liOOgie 

The Revised New Testammt. 29 

Version. To millions of the English-speaking race, deaf to all other 
oracles, it has spoken as the voice of God Himself, and as the voice 
of God it has been heard and accepted by millions who differ in a 
thousand ways in the forms and in the principles of their religion. 
To thousands upon thousands of our race who have passed through 
the wilderness of this world, and to tens of thousands who are still 
passing through it to the better land, the English Bible has been the 
only book they cared to read, and to them it has been as the manna 
that fell from Heaven — sweeter than honey to their taste, and the 
very sustenance of their souls ; and to their experience it has been as 
the garment of Christ Himself, which, when touched by the hand of 
faith and reverence, brought a healing and a blessing to those who so 
touched it Its comforting words have dropped the balm of Heaven 
on wounds of woe in numberless English hearts dead to all other 
comfort, and breathed the breath of Heaven into unnumbered hearts 
dead to all other influences, inspiring them with the Spirit of God, 
and transfiguring their characters with a glory as of Heaven. To 
thousands upon thousands of English men and women, the sweetest 
sounds that have ever fallen upon their ears, that have lingered the 
longest in their memories and sunk the deepest into their hearts and 
consciences, have been the words of the English Bible, read to them 
by the lips of love ; read to them on the couch of sickness or on the 
bed of death ; read in the sanctuary of God ; read to the convict in 
his cell, to the miner in the mine, to the sailor on the sea ; read to 
the martyr at the stake or on the scaffold, and to the soldier on the 
eve of battle. Thousands and tens of thousands of English hearts, 
broken and bleeding under the thousand ills that human flesh is heir 
to, untouched by all other influences, have been touched and thrilled, 
as if by the hand of their Maker, by the words of the English Bible, 
into a new life, full of divine repose and of divine rapture, and full 
of the blessedness and the beauty of holiness. The inspiring and 
almost inspired words of the English Bible, spoken by a Havelock or 
a Cromwell to the hearts of English soldiers, have armed them with 
a power irresistible in the shock of battle, before which the enemy 
went down as corn before the sickle. 

But the English Bible has been to the English race very much 
besides and beyond the one sacred rule and oracle of their religious 
faith and life, and its language has been to the English race some- 
thing more than the consecrated expression of their religious 
emotions and convictions. For nearly three centuries it has been 
the Book of Books in the literature and the language as in the 
religious faith and practice of the English race. It is universally 

Digitized by VjOCKTIC 

30 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

acknowledged as incomparably the first and foremost of classical 
works in the whole range of English literature, embodying as it does 
the most perfect form in which the purity, the strength, and the 
beauty of our language have at any period been presented 

The English Bible has become part and parcel of the national 
mind, as well as part and parcel of the national soul of England. Its 
words have been on every lip, and its figures of speech and illustra- 
tion have ennobled and enriched the best passages of our best authors. 
Its language is as universal as our race, as individual as our own 
souls. Its phraseology is plain to the commonest understanding, 
yet never commonplace ; exquisitely fine to the most fastidious taste, 
yet never fanciful ; always beautiful in its unfailing simplicity, always 
simple in its unfading beauty. Its style is stately, but not stilted ; 
familiar, but not vulgar ; vigorous, but not violent; often condensed 
to the uttermost, but never obscure ; often copious, but not turgid ; 
massive and weighty in its structure, but not wearisome and wordy; 
musical in its sonorous cadences, but never monotonous. This 
masterpiece and model of our language inspired alike the tongue 
and the imagination of Milton. It furnished him with the subjects 
of his inimitable epics, "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Re- 
gained," and on its "winged words" he mounted to that sublimity 
of style in which he has left all other English poets at an im- 
measurable distance. It was to the English Bible, though in its 
earlier form, that Spenser owed the divinest and most beautiful of 
his creations and much of the picturesqueness of his pictured pages; 
and that Bacon was indebted for many of his pithy sentences and 
pointed proverbs. Bunyan's unrivalled allegory owes more than its 
conception and birth to the English Bible ; for it owes, as its author 
confesses, its " picked and packed " phrases to the phraseology of 
the Authorised Version, — which in succeeding years gave point to the 
satire of Pope and Swift, power and dignity to the diction of Byron, 
who was confessedly an intense admirer of the strength and beauty 
of biblical language. All who are familiar with the writings and 
speeches of Burke and Macaulay know well that biblical allusions 
and biblical language have originated, if we may so speak, the most 
original and striking passages in their speeches and writings, and have 
added to, if not created, the majesty and the beauty and the music of 
the most majestic, most beautiful, and most musical of their utter- 
ances. Now, the secret of this unrivalled perfection of form in which 
the Authorised Version is presented to us, and of its corresponding 
influence on literature and language, is told us by King James's 
translators themselves. " We never thought," say they, " from the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

The Revised New Testament. 31 

beginning that we should need to make a new translation, but to 
make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one still better." 
As a consequence, therefore, of this eclectic principle, acted upon at 
the revision of 161 1, we find their work nothing more and nothing 
less than a mosaic, forming, as it does, an exquisite combination 
of those words and phrases in the earlier English versions which 
especially commended themselves to their good taste and sound 
judgment, not merely as more expressive of the meaning and mind 
of the inspired writers than other words and phrases, but as those 
most potent to fill the ear with music, to impress the mind and the 
heart and the memory with their force, and to go at once and 
directly to the understanding, from their very clearness, simplicity, 
and directness. 

Many ill-advised attempts have been made to " improve " the 
English of our unrivalled and unapproachable version by visionaries 
who fancied they saw baldness in its simplicity, and by pedants who 
measured the beauty and the power of words merely by their length. 
One of these pedants "revised" "Jesus wept" — the shortest but 
most beautiful and most touching verse in the whole Bible — into 
" Jesus burst into a flood of tears " I Another " reviser " actually re- 
wrote the New Testament after this fashion: — " Festus declared with 
a loud voice, Paul, you are insane/ Multiplied research has driven 
you to distraction " ; and " The barbarians displayed towards us no 
ordinary philanthropy "/ Another Johnsonian " reviser " published an 
improved New Testament, abounding in such improvements as these : 
" If any man think it would be a reflection upon his manhood to be a 
stale bachelor." " The tongue is but a small portion of the body, yet 
how great are its pretensions ! A spark of fire, what quantities of 
timber will it blow into a flame ! The tongue is a brand that sets the 
world into a combustion: it is but one of the numerous organs of the 
body, yet it can blast whole assemblies: tipped with infernal sulphur, 
it sets the whole train of life into a blaze." Happily for their own 
credit's sake and for the interest of English Christendom, the revisers 
of our Victorian age have not moulded their method of revision after 
such models, although their work is disappointing on other grounds. 
The mould in which the Authorised Version was cast and modelled 
by King James's translators is now no more, and those consummate 
masters of the English language of King James's day have left no 
successors worthy of their great work and mission. It is true we 
have the well of pure and undefiled English amongst us still, but it 
has proved itself too deep and altogether inaccessible to our modern 
revisers, " who have nothing to draw" Their gifts and powers, 

' * Digitized by WOOgT( 

32. The Gentleman s Magazine. 

eminent as they are beyond all question, are by no means of a kind 
to enable them to deal adequately with their mother tongue, and its 
almost inexhaustible riches and resources, for the purposes of biblical 
revision, after the masterly manner of their predecessors ; although 
our modern revisers are far more competent as Greek scholars to 
deal with the tender graces and the subtle and delicate niceties of 
the language of ancient Hellas. Hence it has happened that the 
revisers have in their renderings had an eye more for the Greek from 
which they translated, than for the English into which they have 
translated ; and English idioms and English constructions, however 
deeply rooted in our language, and however consecrated the soil in 
which they have been planted for centuries, and however holy the 
purposes to which they have been dedicated, yet have been rashly and 
ruthlessly plucked up to make way for Greek literalisms and Greek 
constructions utterly alien to the genius of our language and 
altogether unfamiliar to the lips of devotion. In too many instances 
the revisers, blinded to the beauties of the Authorised Version by 
their own Hellenic proclivities, have revised only to ruin some of the 
most musical and magnificent passages of the English Bible. Often 
their most momentous changes have been nothing short of momentous 
catastrophes,— notably in their revision of the Lord's Prayer ; and 
in too many instances they have altered only to adulterate, and 
touched only to taint, the inimitable purity and simplicity of our 
biblical language. As Sir Edmund Beckett has well said : " The 
new translators have given us a preface, too, and their preface and 
their practice together remind me of those modern architects who 
assure us that they mean to produce 'a thoroughly conservative 
restoration' of a church, and then proceed to alter everything in it 
which they can find an excuse for meddling with." 

It would, however, be ungrateful not to acknowledge, and with 
thanks, the good work done by the revisers, especially as we feel 
ourselves constrained to condemn and to point out their chief sins of 
omission and commission. They have done well in removing many 
obsolete and ambiguous words and phrases, and in substituting words 
less ambiguous and less obscure, and words plainer and more intel- 
ligible to the modern reader. Instead of "Jesus prevented him" we 
now happily read, " Jesus spoke/rtf to him " \ instead of the " lowest 
room" we read the "lowest place"; instead of Joshua in the New 
Testament we have Jesus; instead of a "candle" we have a "lamp"; 
instead of "occupy" we read "trade till I come" (Luke xix. 13). 
Judas Iscariot is no longer invested with a "bishoprick? Simon is 
no longer described as "bewitching" the people of Sdmaria, but as 

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The Revised New Testament. 33 

" having amazed" them. Again, all credit must be given thg revisers 
for their very accurate rendering of the Greek tenses and the Greek 
articles, as well as the Greek particles. Greater distinctiveness and 
individuality are secured by such renderings as "the mountain/' 
"the boat," "the lamp"; and, to take one out of many instances in 
which the revisers have added much to the beauty and force of the 
Authorised Version by careful attention to the Greek particle, we 
point to the story of Lazarus, where we now read, " Yea, even the 
dogs came and licked his sores." Here the Authorised Version gave 
us " moreover" a rendering that obscured the pathos of the passage, 
which pictures the pity felt by the dogs, who were more human 
in their sympathy for the poor sufferer than the brute in human 
form who closed his hand and his heart against his fellow-man. 
Well and wisely, too, have the revisers done in bringing out to the 
light of day, from the darkness in which they were buried by the 
Authorised Version, many of the most beautiful and impressive 
images and figures of scriptural phraseology, as set forth in the 
Greek of the New Testament Thus, in St Matt ii., for " which 
shall rule my people Israel," as rendered in the Authorised Version, 
the revisers substitute " which shall be the shepherd of my people 
Israel" By such a revision the revisers have brought to our ears 
one of the sweetest of the many hidden harmonies of Scripture ; and 
in the word " shepherd " they have sounded the very key-note to a 
whole series of illustrations which harmonise St Matthew's Gospel, 
and set before us Christ as the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel, and warning His flock against the ravening 
wolves which come in sheep's clothing. 

On the other hand, the two main charges to be urged against the 
revisers are these — that, first, they have done injustice to the Greek ; 
and next, that they have done injustice to the English language. 
Dean Stanley tells us that the chief aim of the revisers has been to 
bring the whole meaning of the Greek original before the mind of 
the English reader. If this has been their aim, the work proves that 
they have rather missed than hit their mark ; while the manner in 
which they have manipulated their English only verifies the prophecy 
uttered twelve years ago by a distinguished prelate who opposed all 
revision, as did the Northern Convocation, and declared that " the 
power of writing clear and idiomatic English had long ago passed 
away from amongst us." 

Let us look at some specimens of the revisers' English. It is 
bad enough for a writer to leap from " your " to " thy " and " your" 
to " thine," and back again from " thy " to " your " and from 

vol. ecu. no. 1807. d 

34 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

" thine " to " your " ; but what, gentle reader, dost thou think tit 
such a leap from the plural to the singular, and from " your " to 
" thy," as in the following revised passage : (St Matthew vi. 20-21) 
" But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth 
nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor 
steal : for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also " ? Here 
the Authorised Version renders the close of this passage, with its 
-characteristic good taste and correctness, " But lay up for yourselves 
treasures in heaven; . ... for where your treasure is, there will jwr 
hqart be also." Tyndale, whose version dates 1554, renders, "But 
gaddre ye treasure together in heaven; for wheresoever youre treasure 
ys, there will youre hearte be also." Cranmer's version (1537) gives 
us, " But laye up for you treasures in heaven ; for where youre 
treasure is, there wyll youre heart be also " ; and so runs almost in the 
same words the Geneva version of 1557. In favour of the revisers 
it must be said that they have followed a Greek text here altogether 
out of harmony with the context, and one that evidently underlies 
the Latin Vulgate, from which Wicliff in 1380 and the translation 
of Rheims in 1582 give us, " for where thy treasure is, there also thy 
heart is." The revisers may plead that the Greek for " thy " is here 
singular, but this did not limit them to the use of a word so much 
out of harmony with the context, when the word in harmony with the 
context, "your" is singular as well as plural in its application. 
Instead of revising here what did not require revision, it would have 
been better had die revisers revised what did require revision, and 
struck out the unhappy "doth" in favour of "do" in the scarcely 
grammatical sentence, " where rust and moth doth consume." 

The translators of the Authorised Version made a few slips in 
grammar, easy to be accounted for at a time when our language was 
not so fixed by rule as at present, which the revisers have left 
unrevised ; although they have, in several cases, changed the English 
of the Authorised Version for the better, as notably "guilty of death" 
into " worthy of death" in St Matthew's Gospel. But, alike in 
the Authorised Version as well as in the revised, we read (St. 
Mark iv. 31, 32), "It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when 
it is sowed upon the earth, though it be less than all the seeds that 
are upon the earth, yet when it is sown groweth up, and becometh 
greater than all herbs." Tyndale, however, gives us the passage in 
better English: " Which, when it is sowen in the earth is the least of 
all seeds .... but after that it is sowen it groweth up, and is the 
greatest of all yerbes." Wicliff and the Authorised Version, as well 
as that of Rheims, have followed the Latin Vulgate, which follows the 

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The Revised New Testament. 35 

Greek text, where the comparative degree is evidently used for a 
superlative, which is a Greek idiom but not an English one. But 
Tyndale had sense and sight enough to see this fault, and con- 
sequently he escaped the pitfall into which our present revisers and 
their predecessors fell. In their revision of St Matthew xxiv. 32 
the revisers appear really to have gone out of their way to be some- 
what absurd by rendering the text as they do after this manner: 
11 Now from the fig-tree learn her parable, when her branch is now 
tender f where the Authorised Version gives, " Now learn a parable 
of the fig-tree, when his branch is yet tender." If, against the usage 
and genius of modern English, which assigns gender only to sex, " the 
fig-tree " is now to be made masculine or feminine, then the revisers 
are more correct than the translators of 16 1 1 in assigning the fig-tree 
a feminine gender, as it is such in the Greek, and as the Geneva 
version of 1557 renders it It is quite true that in the older period 
in our language every noun was treated grammatically as either 
masculine or feminine ; but our revisers were revising, we take it, not 
in view of the past, but in view of the present and future, and therefore 
they should have moulded their language in accordance with more 
modern forms, and should not have added to its more obsolete forms 
by such terms as " Jur parable " and " her branch," as applied to a 
neuter noun. It is, moreover, curious to note that Wicliff, Tyndale, 
and Cranmer have " his branches " in common with the Authorised 
Version, making in this way the fig-tree mascu/ine, notwithstanding the 
feminine gender of the word in the original Greek — the names of trees 
being feminine, for the most part, in Greek as in Latin. 

Here are a few more unhappy specimens of the way English idiom 
is so often sacrificed to the Greek by the revisers, whose revisions al- 
most invariably betray a fuller familiarity with the language of ancient 
Greece than with the tongue of modern England. On several occa- 
sions, for the "loud voice" in the Authorised Version they substitute 
"great voice," and they give us " waterless places " for " desert places," 
and the "hell of fire" for " hell-fire." But one of the most glaring 
instances of the revisers' method of chopping and changing the 
Authorised Version to suit the Greek will be found in Matt. xiii. 
37, 39, where the revisers give us, " He that soweth the good seed is 
the Son of man ; and the field is the world ; and the good seed, these 
are the sons of the kingdom ; and the tares are the sons of the evil 
one ; and the enemy that sowed them is the devil ; and the harvest is 
the end of the world." These additional " ands" marked in italics, 
happily found no place in the Authorised Version, and by their 
omission it gained in simplicity and strength. Now, the Greek word 


36 The GentlematCs Magazini. 

here rendered "and" is not the regular Greek conjunction iat\ which 
precisely and properly represents our " and" but rather the Greek 
particle " de" of constant recurrence, and rarely if ever translated, 
— but if so, generally rendered by "but." Why, we ask, have the 
revisers deviated from their more usual method, and given us so many 
11 ands " in the passage quoted, when the original has not a single kai — 
the representative of our " and" ? Again, it is a pity that the revisers 
had not consulted some English grammar or some English 
grammarian before they sent forth from the Jerusalem Chamber as 
" idiomatic English " (St Luke xviii. 6), " If ye have faith as a 
grain of mustard seed, ye would say to this sycamore- tree, Be thou 
removed, be thou planted in the sea, and it would have obeyed you." 
This is certainly more Greek in form than English. It is a further 
matter of grave regret that the revisers have left unrevised many terms 
confessedly either not at all understood by the masses, or altogether 
misunderstood by them ; such as "charger," "cumbered," "publican" 
(where we ought to have had either "tax-farmer" or "tax- 
collector "), " pinnacle " of the temple (for which we ought to have had 
"wing"), and many such other words; while they have aggravated 
their faults by adding new puzzles for simple, uneducated people, such 
as the word " apparition." In the last case, as in many others, the 
revisers have evidently had their eye on the Greek word rather than 
on its English equivalent, and have altogether ignored the excellent 
advice given by Cardinal Newman : — 

" Translation in itself is but a problem how, two languages being 
given, the nearest approximation may be made in the second to the 
expression of ideas already conveyed through the medium of the 
first The problem almost starts with the assumption that something 
must be sacrificed, and the chief question is, What is the least 
sacrifice ? Under these circumstances, perhaps, it is fair to lay down 
that, while every care must be taken against the introduction of new 
or the omission of existing ideas in the original text, yet, in a book 
intended for general reading, faithfulness may be held to consist in 
expressing in English the sense of the original, the actual words of the 
latter being viewed as directions into its meaning, and scholarship 
being necessary in order to give the full insight which they afford ; 
and next, that where something must be sacrificed to precision and 
intelligibility, it is better in a popular work to be understood by those 
who are not critics than to be applauded by those who are." 

The stately dignity of the style of the Authorised Version in many 
passages is sadly lowered by the changes introduced by the revisers. 
Take, for example, " the boy Jesus," for the Authorised Version, 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

T/ie Revised New Testament. 37 

" the child Jesus" ; "signs " for " miracles " \ " r?/ou* and ye shall 
be released? as a substitution for "forgive and ye shall be forgiven" ; 
" what shall a man give in exchange for his life 1 '} instead of 
" what should a man give in exchange for his soul" ? and " eternal 
tabernacles " for " everlasting habitations" Now, in this last substi- 
tution the revisers would have shown themselves much wiser in their 
generation, and more alive to the distinctions of English if not of 
Greek synonyms, by keeping to the words of the Authorised Version, 
for the term tabernacle carries with it a sort of distinct connotation 
of what is transient and temporary^ as the tabernacle was only a 
temporary building, and as such opposed to the mansion or the 
permanent abode and the everlasting habitation. So that "eternal 
tabernacle," viewed from this standpoint, becomes a sort of contradic- 
tion in terms ; for if eternal^ it cannot be strictly a tabernacle ; and if 
a tabernacle^ it cannot be eternal. 

Was it, we wonder, from a prescient consciousness of the possible 
superiority of the older version in the eyes of the public, that the 
revisers altered the Authorised Version, " the old wine is better," 
into " the old is good," to blunt the point of any contrast which 
might be drawn between the older and the newer version ? 

A very considerable number of the new phrases introduced by 
the revisers are simply usurpers, and can claim no right to any 
position in biblical phraseology. Such phrases as the " liberty of 
glory" " mind of flesh? " hell of fire? are certainly very literal tran- 
scripts of the Greek, but they come to us as utter aliens, which have 
never been naturalised in our language, and are strangers that frighten 
us with their strange looks and unfamiliar sound. Is such phrase- 
ology, we ask, in harmony with the genius of our language, or 
likely to be understood by our people? Are these words that 
those who run may read, and read with understanding and edifica- 
tion ? In what sense is the ordinary mind of the English Christian 
to understand the phrase, " the liberty of glory"? Does it mean 
the liberty that leads to glory, or the glory that is the effect of liberty, 
or rather the glorious liberty of those who serve God with a willing 
heart ? — though this, its best and truest sense, is precisely the sense 
most remote of all from the form of expression used by the revisers. 
Equally puzzling and perplexing is the new phraseology, " hell of 
fire" What will this appear to mean to the ordinary reader? Does 
it mean a hell of fire as opposed to a hell of some other kind, as to 
the Tartarus of pagan mythology ? or does it mean a hell of fire as 
opposed to a heaven of fire ? We can understand the fire of hell, or 
hell fire; but really the revisers' new coinage, "hell of fire," i* 
altogether beyond our poor understanding. 

38 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

One of the most unpardonable sins perpetrated by the revisers 
has been their uncharitable elimination of the word " charity" from 
St Paul's triad of the Christian graces, and the substitution of the 
word " love" This is a very grave offence alike against English 
religious instincts and literary taste. The word " charity " is much 
too precious, much too dear to the heart, much too sweet to the ear 
of English Christendom, ever to be lost to the language of Scripture, 
and too deeply interwoven with the very fibre of biblical phraseology 
ever to be torn asunder from it " Charity * is " love," but it is 
something grander and greater, more glorious and more divine than 
" love," which may be a mere human passion, a mere earthly prin- 
ciple, a mere carnal appetite, a mere passing sentiment. But 
" charity " is a golden coinage, expressly minted in the Christian 
Church, expressly stamped with the divine image, to mark it off from 
the comparatively valueless if not incomparably baser coin which 
too often passes current under the name of " love " on the lips that 
speak the language of England. Here the Greek word agape has 
confessedly two meanings : it means the divine love which we call 
'/ charity," and the human affection which we call " love." The 
Greek word, in these its two best senses, is like a diamond with two 
facets— one reflecting, as it were, the brightness of heaven, the other a 
mere earthly light ; and the revisers have chosen to ignore the brighter 
and more sacred reflection in favour of one that is less sacred and 
less brilliant — mainly guided, as they have been, by the erroneous 
principle of invariably rendering the same Greek word by the same 
English word. In carrying out their rule of almost uniformly 
rendering the same Greek term by the same English term, and this 
with little or no discrimination and discretion in crucial cases, the 
revisers have done uniform violence to the genius of our language, 
and a gross injustice to its inexhaustible resources. Unhappily, 
they have most relaxed their rule in cases of comparatively little 
import, and most rigidly enforced it where we lose much by so rigid an 
application of their rule. Now, two solid and unanswerable arguments 
may be urged against the revisers' canon and practice of uniformity 
of rendering. The first is drawn from the very nature of the Greek 
language, and especially of the Greek of the Greek Testament, which 
abounds in words that have several meanings akin to each other, 
but widely different in their applications and value, such as " eleneho" 
to convict and to convince ; paracletos, the Comforter and the Advocate ; 
agape, love and charity. Now, if we adhere rigidly to the rule 
of giving to each Greek word, with its various meanings, only one 
tendering, we do it injustice by ignoring its other meanings, and we 

The Revised New Testament. 39 

further wrong our readers by giving them an imperfect and inade- 
quate interpretation of all that the Greek word denotes and connotes. 
If the Greek word, like a diamond with many facets, reflects many 
lights and many lustres, it is only due to the English reader that he 
should have all these lights and lustres brought to his mind's eye, and 
the more so as the light and the lustre is that of Heaven ; and if all 
the lights cannot be reflected in one passage where the word occurs, 
then the unreflected lights of the word should be reflected in other 

Our next argument is drawn from the very nature of the English 
language, essentially distinguished as it is from Greek by the variety 
of its phraseology, owing to its composite character and varied 
origin. Hence we have such bilinguals as "act" and "deed," 
" mirth " and " jollity," " sin " and " wickedness." Now, why should 
the revisers set at nought the rule of their predecessors on this 
point, and force upon the English language principles repugnant 
to its nature, contrary to its usages, which serve no other purpose 
than that of securing a dull and monotonous uniformity ? What, we 
ask, is gained, for example, by altering the Authorised Version, 1 Cor. 
xii. 4-6, into " There are diversities of gifts, and there are differ* 
ences of administration, and there $u:e diversities of operation," from 
" There are diversities of gifts, there are diversities of administration, 
and there are diversities of operations " ? In the original Greek of 
this passage nothing is made to turn by the writer on uniformity 
of wording, and therefore nothing can be lost ; but something can 
well be gained to the English reader by a diversity of wording, for 
this would break the monotony of the repetition. But, with a singu- 
lar and unaccountable inconsistency, in many passages where the 
strength of the argument or the beauty and point of the illustration 
of the inspired writer does turn on the repetition of the same word 
in a simple or compound form, the revisers pass it by with silent 
contempt or in sheer ignorance, and thus do an injustice to the 
Greek and a wrong to the reader. Here is an example of what is 
meant. In St Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, who were famous for 
their architectural skill and celebrated for their beautiful temples 
and houses, the Apostle reminds them (chap. iL v. 20-21) that they 
were members of the house of God ; and he plays throughout on the 
word house $ telling the Ephesians that they were built up as a house 
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ himself being 
the chief corner-stone, on whom the building of the house grows into 
an holy temple in the Lord, for an everlasting house of God Now 
piuch of the point of the passage is blunted by the revisers when 

igi ize y g 

40 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

they follow the Authorised Version -" But ye are fellow-citizens with 
the saints and of the household of God, being built upon the 
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being 
the chief corner-stone, in whom each several building, fitly framed 
together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord, in which ye also 
are builded together for a habitation of God." Nor do the revisers 
show more respect for their own principle of uniformity of wording 
even in rendering our Lord's words, as in Matt x. 26, where they re- 
peat, as they often do elsewhere, the errors of the Authorised Version — 
" For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed" instead of the 
more forcible and more faithful rendering, " For there is nothing 
covered which shall not be uncovered'* On almost every page of the 
work the revisers have violated their own rule of uniformity of 
rendering, as when they give us at different passages, for one and 
the same Greek word, the following different renderings : — " Holy 
Ghost, Holy Spirit " ; " born, conceived " ; " bidden, commanded, 

If the revisers had been faithful to their own ideal, and con- 
sistent with their own rules of uniformity of wording, they could 
not have so persistently ignored the cognate constructions which 
are so frequent in the original. This construction, which adds 
precision and beauty to passages, is by no means an alien to our 
own language, for we use it in such phrases as die the death, fight 
the fight, sing the song. In our Lord's Sermon on the Mount the 
revisers give us, and rightly give us, " Swear not by the earth, for it 
is the footstool of his feet n — precisely as we find it in the Greek. 
The same construction, when found in many other passages, is 
altogether ignored by them, as when they give us " uncovered the roof 
instead of " unroofed the roof" and "no man putteth a piece of 
undressed cloth " for " no man paicheth a patch " ; or again, in the 
Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, they render " for we hear of 
some that walk among you disorderly, that work not at all, but are 
busy bodies? where the Greek is very forcible, and means u that do 
not mind their own business t hut busy themselves about other people's 
business." Here the rendering of the revisers not only dulls the 
point of the original, by refusing to recognise its cognate form of 
presentation, but actually misrepresents the sense ; for the Apostle 
does not complain of the indolence or idleness of the Thessalonians, 
but he does complain of their working or busying themselves with 
what was not their own business, and for such unnecessary business 
neglecting their own business. 

Amongst the most striking sins of omission perpetrated by the 

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T/ie Revised New Testament. 41 

revisers is their rendering of St. Mark's Gospel, chap. vii. 26, where 
they have left the Authorised Version undevised, and have rendered 
" qow the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race" which is 
simply a contradiction in terms, for if the woman were a Greek, 
then she was not a Syrophoenician, and vice versa. Here the word 
rendered " Greek n should have been rendered " Gentile," as is else- 
where done by the revisers, and this would have turned nonsense into 
sense. The older translators were much wiser in their generation, for 
Wicliff rendered the word by " Heathen," and even the generally 
inaccurate Rheims version gives us " Gentile." If the aim of the 
revisers was to place before the mind of English readers all that the 
Greek expressed, neither more nor less, it is difficult to understand 
the 'silent contempt with which they have treated so many of the 
Greek prepositions, especially in composition, and the Greek diminu- 
tives, as well as the collocation of the Greek words. Here is a sample 
of the treatment complained of: in St Matt. L 20, 21, the Greek 
compound verb is simply rendered "take" by the revisers, who 
would have done it more justice by rendering it " take to thy side" for 
here the word is technical, and marks a matrimonial usage. The same 
Greek preposition is frequently ignored alike by the Authorised Ver- 
sion and the revisers, even where the full point and precision of the 
sentence seem to turn on it ; as, for example, at St. Matt. xxvi. 53, the 
revisers give us : " Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, 
and he shall send me more than twelve legions of angels?" where 
the Greek means, "Thinkest thou that I cannot call my Father to my 
side, and he shaWplace by my side more than twelve legions of angels ? " 
The two compound verbs here are both technical military terms ; 
the former, parakalesai, implies summoning to one's side as an ally; 
and the second, parastesai, is a military term for drawing up soldiers 
in close array side by side; and both these terms are in perfect harmony 
with the military legion, a Roman word for which in English we 
should employ the term regiment As a sample of the revisers' 
comparative neglect of the Greek diminutives we point to St Matt 
xv. 26, "And he answered and said, It is not meet to take the 
children's bread and to cast it to the dogs," where "little dogs" 
more satisfies the requirements of the Greek and the context Here 
Wicliff and Tyndale and the Anglo-Saxon version give us " whelps," 
and it is to those earlier versions that Chaucer evidently alludes 
in his Friar's Tale — 

Thinke one the woman Canaan that said 
That whelpes eate some of the crumbes alle 
That from the Lorde's table, downe falle, 

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42 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

It would, as a rule, be a dangerous innovation for any translator 
to reproduce in his version the order of the original words in every 
instance, if this were possible ; but it certainly becomes an imperative 
duty to respect the order of the original when in the language from 
which he translates a word is placed first for special emphasis, and the 
language into which he translates easily admits of giving the same 
word the same prominent position to which it is entitled — " Ordo 
verborum," writes St Augustine, " est sacramentum." At St Luke 
xxii. 49, the writer places the Greek word for a kiss first in the 
sentence, to call special attention to it, and to connect it more closely 
with the previous sentence. Here the revisers render, " Judas, betrayest 
thou the Son of man with a kiss?" whereas the Greek order 
demands, " Is it with a kiss, Judas, thou betrayest the Son of man ? " 
for this brings the question of our Lord more in harmony with what 
went immediately before, " He drew near unto Jesus to kiss him." In 
St John xviiL 36 the revisers seem equally blind to the emphatic 
order of the Greek, and give us, " My kingdom is not of this world: if 
my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight," 
where the Greek order runs, " My kingdom is not of this world, for 
if of this world were my kingdom," where the reversed order is 
adopted for emphasis. It is further a matter of regret that the 
revisers almost uniformly reject the usage of the Greek emphatic 
article, which so often sharpens the point, and clothes with beauty the 
terms to which it is applied. Thus, for example, in St John's Gospel, 
our Lord calls himself, not, as the revisers, following the Authorised 
Version, give it, "the true light," "the true bread," "the good 
shepherd," " the true vine" ; but, as the Greek runs, " the light — the 
true light," " the bread— the true bread," " the shepherd — the good 
shepherd," " the vine — the true vine." By some such reproduction 
in English of this emphatic form in the original the revisers would 
have done far more justice to the Greek, and brought out more the 
meaning of the Divine Master without doing any violence to the 
English language, which admits such emphatic usages — as we find in 
Shakespeare's " farewell, a long farewell," " a frost, a killing frost " ; 
and in the most powerful passages of our best prose writers, and of 
our greatest orators — as, for example, in Burke's " the medium, the 
only medium, for regaining their affection and confidence." 

T. H. L. LEARY. 

Digitized by 




ON the death of the Earl of Leicester, the vacancy his departure 
had created in the ranks of the favourites around the throne 
was soon filled up. In spite of her intellectual gifts, the firmness 
and determination of her character, and a repellent hauteur which 
was due to her Tudor blood, Elizabeth was as susceptible to flattery 
as if she had been the silliest of her sex. Though now long past 
the age when woman inspires admiration for her beauty, she loved to 
be surrounded by courtiers who read sonnets in her praise, who 
lauded her classic brow and the exquisite regularity of her features, 
and who paid her the same homage as if she had been not only a 
reigning queen, but a reigning belle. As time sped on, and made 
her all the more the wreck of her former self, she became more and 
more exacting ; she hated to hear her gallants express admiration for 
any woman but herself, or to speak of beauty unless their, remarks 
applied to her, or that they should excite her jealousy by marrying 
without her approval. A vain, elderly creature, she, who in Council 
could be so keen and penetrating, would greedily swallow the most 
fulsome flattery, without observing its inconsistency or the sneer that 
often lay hid in its words. In spite of failing health and of the 
reflections from her mirror, she considered herself the loveliest of 
women, and that all her courtiers were enamoured of her. 

At this time her special favourite was Robert Devereux, the second 
Earl of Essex. Young, handsome, a scholar and a poet, with a courage 
which was noted even in those days, when courage was considered 
everything, he had all the gifts to seduce the affections of a woman 
of the temperament of Elizabeth. From the first hour when he had 
been presented at Court by his stepfather, the favourite Leicester, 
he had won the regard of the Queen* He was different from the 
scheming, servile courtiers who surrounded her. Educated at Cam- 
bridge and the friend of Burghley, the young man was well read in 
his sovereign's favourite classics ; his conversation had all the charms 
of culture and yet of originality, and he was of the age when poetry 
becomes the most fascinating of studies. Elizabeth took no pains to 
conceal her liking for the boy-earL He was during the first months 

° ' Digitized by VjOOglC 

44 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

of his life at Court her constant companion ; he read aloud to her, 
he composed sonnets to her, and there was that sympathetic relation- 
ship between them which often exists between a lad and a woman much 
older than himself. Like most whose character is naturally domineer- 
ing, the Queen fully appreciated the cool audacity of the young Earl, 
who, declining to be intimidated by her presence, offered his opinions 
and maintained them, in spite of all opposition from her Majesty. 

Essex was, however, not to pass his youth in the luxurious ease 
of a Court. Towards the close of the year 1585, he accompanied 
the Earl of Leicester to Holland, where he so distinguished 
himself at the battle of Zutphen, that the honour of a Knight- 
Banneret was conferred on him. Returning home, the Queen 
advanced him to the office of Master of the Horse, though he was 
then barely twenty years of age ; and on the approach of the Armada 
she created him a general of horse and presented him with the 
coveted Order of the Garter. These rewards made him all the more 
eager for further action. He accompanied the expedition of Norris 
and Drake to Spain, to place Don Antonio on the throne of 
Portugal, much to the Queen's disgust, who wrote him a sharp 
letter, bidding him return at once. " Whereof you see you fail not," 
she said, " as you will be loath to incur our indignation, and will 
answer for the contrary at your uttermost peril." To this command 
Essex, with his customary boldness, paid not the slightest attention ; 
yet, on his return, Elizabeth, after a few days of ill-simulated anger, 
fully pardoned him, and conferred upon him several valuable grants 
from the Crown. In 1591 the favourite was appointed commander- 
in-chief of the forces sent into Normandy to assist Henry the Fourth 
of France in recovering Rouen ; a few years later he was despatched 
with Lord Howard to Cadiz, to wreck the Spanish fleet and destroy 
the town, in which expedition he displayed his usual gallantry. On 
his return he was appointed Master of the Ordnance, and created 
Earl Marshal of England. 

Essex was now at the height of his good fortune. He held 
every honour and office that a courtier could covet ; young men who 
sought advancement rather paid their court to him in preference to 
the Secretary of State ; he was beloved by the mob ; whilst the Puritans 
regarded him as the successor to the Earl of Leicester, and as their 
natural protector. So rapid an elevation to the highest honours had 
its usual consequences. Essex, naturally haughty, became arrogant 
and domineering ; he dictated to all who crossed his path, and 
declined to be interfered with ; even to the Queen he was at times 
most offensive, and spoke in tones which would h^vc cost another 

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The Earl bf Essex's Rebellion. 45 

man his head. His pride was now to receive a severe lesson. At 
a meeting of a few members of the Council a discussion arose 
between Elizabeth and the favourite as to the choice of some fit and 
able person to superintend the affairs of Ireland, which were as usual 
in a turbulent and unsatisfactory condition. The Queen gave her 
voice in favour of Sir William Knollys ; Essex, on the contrary, voted 
for Sir George Carew. Hating dictation as much as her favourite, 
Elizabeth instructed Sir Robert Cecil to appoint Knollys to the post ; 
whereupon Essex, forgetful of his loyalty as a subject and his manners 
as a gentleman, shrugged his shoulders and turned his back con- 
temptuously upon his sovereign. Such conduct, and especially before 
spectators, Elizabeth declined to overlook ; she walked up to the 
favourite, soundly boxed his ears, and bade him, in words very 
significant of the coarseness of her age, " Go and be hanged ! " Blind 
with passion, Essex clapped his hand to his sword, and with a great 
oath swore that " he never would pardon so gross an affront, no, not 
even from Henry the Eighth," and without another word passed 
through the doors and quitted the Court 

Weeks sped on, and still Essex, sullen and vindictive, refused 
to make apology for his conduct, preferring to shut himself up 
in rigid seclusion. The Queen, after her first burst of anger, 
had keenly regretted the insult she had put upon her favourite; 
yet she felt that the dignity of the Crown must be maintained, 
and Essex be the one to sue for pardon. Let him, she said, but 
express sorrow for his rudeness, and he would not find her cruel 
The friends of Essex now interfered, and advised him to be contrite 
and penitent Sir Henry Ley wrote to him, and tried to pour oil on 
the troubled waters. " Your honour," he said, 1 " is more dear to you 
than your life. Yet consider that she is your sovereign, whom you may 
not treat upon equal conditions. . . . Your wrongs may be greater 
than you can well digest, but consider how great she is, and how 
willing to be conquered ; what advantage you have in yielding when 
you are wronged, and what disadvantage by facing her on whose 
favour you rely ; how strong you will make your enemies, and how 
weak your friends ; how provoked patience may turn to fury, and 
delayed anger to hatred. Only whatever peace you make, use no 
means but yourself ; it will be more honourable to you and more 
acceptable to her." The Lord Keeper Egerton expressed himself 
to the same effect " I offer," he wrote, 2 " loving advice, as bystanders 
often see more clearly than people do themselves in their own causes. 

1 State Paptrs, Domestic, edited by Mrs. Green, [Aug. ?] 1598. 

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46 The Gentleniatis Magazine. 

This long-continued and unseasonable discontent will make your 
cause worse and worse. You may yet return safely, but to progress 
is desperate ; you leave your friends open to contempt, and encourage 
foreign enemies by the news that her Majesty and the realm are 
maimed of so worthy a member, who has so often daunted them. 
Also you fail in the duty which by nature, policy, and religion you 
owe to the Queen. Let me advise you to bend to the time and yield 
to your sovereign, whereby may ensue great good and no dishonour. 
The difficulty is in self-conquest, which is the height of true valour. 
If you do this the Queen will be satisfied, your country and friends 
benefited, yourself honoured, and your enemies disappointed." 

Still Essex failed to be convinced. " I would sooner make you 
a judge," he writes to the Lord Keeper, 1 " than any other, but I 
must appeal from earthly judges, when the highest has imposed 
the heaviest punishment on me without trial. I am not unreasonably 
discontent ; but the passionate indignation of a prince is an un- 
seasonable tempest, when a harvest for painful labours is expected, 
and the smart must be cured or the senseless part cut off. The 
Queen is obdurate, and I cannot be senseless. I see an end of my 
fortunes, and have set an end to my desires. My retirement neither' 
injures others nor myself. I am released from duty to my country 
by my dismissal. I will always owe duty to her Majesty as an Earl 
Marshal of England, and I have served her as a clerk, but cannot as 
a slave. You bid me give way to time ; I have done so by going 
out of the way, but I cannot yield truth to be falsehood." Then he 
continued that his body suffered in every part of it by that blow 
given him by the sovereign. " What ! " he cried, " is it impossible 
for crowned heads to do wrong, and so to stand accountable to their 
subjects ? Was any power below of an unlimited nature ? And has 
not Solomon said that he is a fool who laughs when he is stricken ? 
I have suffered so many and great injuries," concluded the Earl, 
" that I cannot but resent them from my very heart" Still, in spite 
of his determination, absence from the sunshine of the royal favour 
brought him after a few months into a more malleable frame of mind ; 
he tendered an apology, which was at once accepted. It is, however, 
very doubtful whether the Queen ever entertained the same friendly 
feelings towards Essex as she had before this quarrel. His friends 
dated his ruin from the day when he had insulted his sovereign. 
" Fortune," they said, " seldom caresses a cast-off favourite a second 
time, and princes once disobliged are seldom heartily reconciled." 

The Ireland which Elizabeth had received as one of the 

■ State Papers, Domestic, [Aug.?] l5g| rtizedby Go 

The Earl of Essex's Rebellion. 47 

inheritances of the Crown, was the most miserable of countries. The 
island was literally inhabited by savages. The Irish led a nomad 
life, tending a few cattle, sowing a little corn, building here and there 
mud cabins when actually necessary to shield them from the incle- 
mency of the weather, and using only their cloaks for bed and raiment. 
" A man," wrote the Archbishop of Armagh to the Queen at the 
beginning of her reign, " may ride south, west, and north, twenty or 
forty miles, and see neither house, corn, nor cattle ; many hundreds ot 
men, women, and children are dead of famine." The civilised 
Englishmen who had planted their settlements in the country looked 
upon the inhabitants as a race of serfs, to be worked to death, to be 
bullied, and, if disobedient to orders, to be shot down without mercy. 
"The Irishmen/' wrote one Andrew Trollopc to Walsingham, 1 "ex- 
cept in walled towns, are not Christians, civil or human creatures, but 
heathen, or rather savage and brute beasts. For many of them, as 
well women as men, go commonly naked, having only a loose mantle 
hanging about them ; if any of them have a shirt and a pair of single 
solid shoes, which they call brogues, they are especially provided for. 
And the Earl of Clancar and the Lord Maurice came to present 
themselves to my Lord Deputy at Dublin, in all their bravery, and 
the best garment they wore was a russet Irish mantle, worth about a 
crown piece, a leather jerkin, a pair of hose, and a pair of brogues, 
but not all worth a noble. And their feed is flesh if they can steal 
any, for they have no occupations or have been brought up to any 
labour to earn anything. And if they can get no stolen flesh, they 
eat, if they can get them, leek-blades and a three-leafed grass, which 
they call shamrock, and for the want thereof carrion and grass in the 
fields, with such butter as is too loathsome to describe. The best of 
them have seldom bread, and the common sort never look after any." 
Savage, half-starved, hating their conquerors, the Irish were always 
on the watch for opportunity to rise against the English. Any leader 
who came forward to redress their grievances was sure of a follow- 
ing ; if the English troops in possession of the island had their ranks 
thinned, the Irish at once broke loose and robbed and murdered all 
within their reach ; the whole reign of Elizabeth was one incessant 
struggle to keep under Irish disaffection. 

Shortly after the release of Essex, these difficulties became a 
great source of anxiety to the Government. Hugh O'Neale, the 
nephew of Shan O'Neale, or the Great O'Neale, had been created, 
by the favour of Elizabeth, Earl of Tyrone. This noble savage, 
after murdering his cousin, the heir of the rebel, caused himself 

1 State Papers of Ireland, 1574-1585 ; edited by Hans Claude Hamilton. 

48 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

to be acknowledged as head of the clan, and at once proceeded 
to dispute the feeble authority of the English in the island. 
Having entered into a correspondence with Spain, he obtained a laige 
supply of arms and ammunition from Madrid ; and then uniting all 
the Irish chieftains under his standard, he boldly assumed the 
aggressive. For years he successfully defied the arms of Sir John 
Norris, the English commander, and inflicted a severe defeat upon 
Sir Henry Bagnal, Norris's successor, in a pitched battle at Black- 
water. These victories caused Tyrone to be regarded by his country- 
men as the deliverer of Ireland, and stimulated the efforts of the 
Irish to further and more dangerous opposition. It now became 
evident to the Council at home that the rebellion across St George's 
Channel had assumed a form which it was most short-sighted to 
ignore or trifle with. An army of eighteen thousand men was raised 
to crush the disaffected Irish, and Essex — for the Ireland of Elizabeth's 
day was the great school of rude soldiership — prevailed upon the 
Queen to appoint him governor of Ireland, with the title of Lord 
Lieutenant Amid the applause of the nation he crossed over to 
Dublin to take command of the troops. Unfortunately, though all 
his applications for reinforcements and arms were readily granted by 
the Council, and the parsimonious Elizabeth moaned that she paid 
him a thousand pounds a day, Essex failed to distinguish himself. He 
dawdled his time away, he exhausted his men by useless marches and 
countermarches, sickness set in and reduced the number of his forces, 
whilst the enemy hung upon his rear worrying the English in irregular 
skirmishes, yet ever carefully avoiding a decided engagement 

Negotiations now took place. Tyrone sent a message to Essex, 
desiring a conference, which was agreed to ; proposals for a truce most 
favourable to the Irish were discussed, and it appears that Essex had 
at this time also commenced a disloyal correspondence with the 
enemy. The anger of the Queen at this termination of hostilities so 
degrading to her troops was extreme. She expressed her dissatis- 
faction to Essex, but ordered him to remain at his post until he 
received her further commands. The Lord Lieutenant, however, 
fully aware of the capital that his enemies would make out of his mis- 
direction of the campaign, and not yet certain that he had com- 
pletely regained the good favour of his mistress, refused to give 
malice time enough to insinuate its poison, but hurried home with all 
haste. Wearied and travel-stained, he presented himself at Court at an 
early hour of the morning, hastened upstairs, looked in at the presence- 
chamber, then at the privy chamber, nor scrupled to enter the royal 
bedchamber, where Elizabeth, her toilet not completed, was sitting 

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The Earl of Essex's Rebellion. 49 

with her hair unbrushed and falling about her face and shoulders. 
Essex threw himself upon his knees before her, kissed her hands, and 
implored her not to judge him by the counsels of his enemies. The 
Queen, now only under the influence of the tender feeling consequent 
upon seeing her favourite again, was very kind and gracious. She 
looked lovingly upon him, and failed to say a single word of reproach. 
Quitting the chamber, Essex, most agreeably disappointed, thanked 
God that, though he had suffered much trouble and many storms 
abroad, he had found a sweet calm at home. 

But the favourite had been too hasty in arriving at his conclu- 
sions. His offences were not to be so easily condoned. On 
reflection the Queen felt that the case before her was one to be 
decided, not by the heart, but by the head. Essex had been guilty 
of the most culpable military negligence, he had spent vast sums of 
money for no purpose, and in arranging a truce with Tyrone he had 
acted with an independence which was an insult to the Crown. Eliza- 
beth soon showed the change in her sentiments. In the afternoon 
she met Essex, looked darkly upon him, and bade him be confined to 
his chamber until she gave orders for his release. A few days afterwards 
his case was made a special subject of discussion by the Council. The 
Lord Keeper, Egerton, expressed himself very severely. The whole 
campaign, he cried, had been most disgracefully mismanaged. The 
directions of her Majesty had not been followed. " Instead," said 
his lordship, " of the army being led against the arch-rebel in Ulster, 
it was carried into Munster, and people and treasure wasted. Then 
a parley was had with Tyrone, and dishonourable conditions accepted, 
which left her Majesty Queen only in name, whilst my Lord of 
Essex presumed on a bare promise of truce to leave the realm and 
come over, contrary to her Majesty's express command." The Lord 
Treasurer followed suit The expenses of this attempt, he said, had 
been enormous. All the demands of the Lord Lieutenant had been 
amply answered. Arms, ammunition, and clothing had been sent to 
Dublin without stint. As to pay, the army had been royally treated. 
No fault could be found with the commissariat, for there had always 
been a three months' supply of provisions beforehand. "This 
expedition," concluded the Treasurer, " has hardly cost her Majesty 
less in the seven months than 300,000/. My Lord of Essex is too 
honourable and just to deny that he has been royally furnished." 
After speeches of a similar character from the Lord Chief Justice 
and Mr. Secretary Cecil, the Council delivered their verdict They 
were of opinion that Essex had made wrong use of the treasure com- 
mitted to him, that he had been dilatory in his movements, that he 

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jo The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

had exceeded his powers and had disobeyed orders. 1 Their report was 
handed to the Queen, and the favourite was kept in strict seclusion, 
not even being permitted to see his countess, in the house of the 
Lord Keeper. From the Michaelmas of 1599 to the August of 1600 
Essex was a prisoner. 

During the weary months of his confinement he wrote frequently 
to the Queen. 2 He openly acknowledged his offences, trusted to her 
"princely and angelic nature," and implored that this cup might 
pass from him. He only desired life, he said, to expiate his former 
offences, and to recover the favour of his Queea Still, he pleaded 
in vain. His successor in Ireland was winning brilliant victories, and 
the Queen, playedupon by the maliceof those who hated Essex, refused 
to grant the prayers of her former favourite. To the prisoner life 
unsunned by the royal presence was worse than death. "Before all 
letters written in this hand be banished," he pleads again, 3 "or he 
that sends this enjoins himself eternal silence, be pleased to read 
over these humble lines. At sundry times I received those words as 
your own, ' that you meant to correct and not to ruin,' since which 
time when I languished in four months' sickness, forfeited almost all that 
I was able to engage, felt the very pangs of death upon me, and saw 
my poor reputation not suffered to die with me, but buried and I 
alive. I yet kissed your fair correcting hand, and was confident in 
your royal word ; for I said to myself, ' Between my ruin and my 
sovereign's favour there is no mean ; and if she bestow favour again, 
she gives it with all things that in this world I either need or desire.' 
But now that the length of my troubles and the increase of your 
indignation have made all men so afraid of me as my own poor state 
is ruined, and my friends and servants like to die in prison, because 
I cannot help myself with my own, I not only feel the weight of your 
indignation, and am subject to their malicious informations that first 
envied me your favour and now hate me out of custom ; but, as if I 
were thrown into a corner like a dead carcass, I am gnawed on and 
torn by the basest creatures upon earth. The prating tavern-haunter 
speaks of me what he lists ; the frantic libeller writes of me what he 
lists ; they print me and make me speak to the world, and shortly 
they will play me upon the stage, The least of these is worse than 

1 State Papers, Domestic. Speeches by the Council in the Star Chamber, 
November 28, 1599. 

* His letters begging to be restored to favour, amongst the State Papers, are 
those of February II and 12; April 4; May 12 (two); June 21 ; July 26; 
August 27; September 6, 9, and 22; September ? (two) ; October 4 and 18; 
October ? 1600. 

• Ibid. May 12, 1600. 

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The Earl of Essex's Rebellion. 5 1 

death, but this is not the worst of my destiny ; for you, who have 
protected from scorn and infamy all to whom you once avowed 
favour but Essex, and never repented of any gracious assurance you 
had given till now, have now, in this eighth month of my close im- 
prisonment, rejected my letters and refused to hear of me, which to 
traitors you never did. What remains is only to beseech you to con- 
dude my punishment, my misery, and my life all together, that I may 
go to my Saviour, who has paid Himself a ransom for me, and who 
(methinks) I still hear calling me out of this unkind world in which I 
have lived too long, and once thought myself too happy." The 
continued silence of his Queen pained him beyond measure. *f I 
must sometimes moan, look up and speak, that you may know your 
servant lives," he writes again. 1 " I live, though sick in spirit unto 
death, yet mourn not for impatiency, as commonly sick men do. I 
look up to you, mine only physician, yet look for no physic till you 
think the crisis past and the time fit for a cure. I speak the words 
of my soul, yet cannot utter that which most concerns me, and should 
give my full heart greatest ease ; therefore I say to myself, ' Lie still, 
look down and be silent.' You never buried alive any creature 
of your favour, and have passed your princely word that your correc- 
tion is not intended for the ruin of your humblest vassal." Then, 
since moaning will not move his mistress, he tries a lighter strain : 
" Haste, paper, to that happy presence," he exclaims, 2 "whence only 
unhappy I am banished ! Kiss that fair correcting hand which lays 
now plasters to my lighter hurts, but to my greatest wound applieth 
nothing. Say thou earnest from shaming, languishing, despairing 

To many, the harshness with which the ex-favourite was now 
treated by the Court was far from approved of. His courage, his 
genial manners, the cool audacity which characterised his opposition 
to most things, had raised Essex to the position of a mob hero. 
The crowd cheered him under the windows of his prison, 
murmured against his confinement, and groaned at the names of his 
enemies. With a certain section of the clergy, the favourite, from 
the comparative purity of his past life, the soundness of his Pro- 
testantism, and from his position as patron of the Puritans, had 
always been popular. In his hour of need, and more especially as 
he was laid low with fever, the Church now proved her friendship for 
him. In the diocese of London, special prayers were put up for him, 
ind allusions made to his case from the pulpit For such ecclesiastical 

1 State raf>ers, Jhntestic. July 26, l6co. . 

* Ibid. September 6, 1600. 
E 2 

52 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

sympathy the Bishop of London was in bad odour at the Court. 
"My Lord Grace tells me," writes Dr. Edward Stanhope to his 
brother, Sir John Stanhope, the Treasurer of the Chamber, 1 " that 
her Majesty has taken offence at my Lord of London, and is not 
well pleased with his Grace for the indiscretion of some ministers in 
and about London. Some have, in their sermons at Paul's Cross, 
uttered matters impertinent to her government and unfitting their 
place, and therein have preached undutifully ; others, not respecting 
the Earl of Essex's restraint as they ought to have done, have in 
their sermons, also at Paul's Cross, prayed for him by name ; others 
have caused their bell to be knelled as a passing-bell for him, and 
have recommended him by name to God in their public prayers, and 
have had prayers purposely made for him." From a statement made 
to the Council by the rector of St Andrew's in the Wardrobe, Lon- 
don, we learn the form of prayer that was used on that occasion; it 
ran as follows : * — " I humbly beseech Thee, dear Father, to look 
mercifully with Thy gracious favour upon that noble Barak Thy 
servant, the Earl of Essex, strengthening him in the inward man 
against all his enemies. O Lord, make his bed in this his sickness, 
that so Thy gracious corrections now upon him may be easy and 
comfortable unto him as Thy fatherly instructions. And in Thy good 
time restore him unto his former health, and gracious favour of his 
and our most dread sovereign, to Thy glory, the good of this church 
and kingdom, and the grief and discouragement of all wicked 
Edomites that bear evil will to Zion, and say to the walls of 
Jerusalem ' There, there, down with it, down with it to the ground' " 
Babington, Bishop of Worcester, was also reprimanded for having 
given expression to this sympathy. 

The prisoner was now to be set at liberty. So much mercy the 
Queen showed him, that before he gained his freedom she had his 
case submitted judicially to the Privy Council, instead of to the terrible 
Star Chamber. The trial lasted eleven hours ; Essex defended himself 
with ability and a dignified humility. The sentence passed upon him 
was, that he should be deprived of all his public offices except the post 
of Master ot the Horse, and that he should return to his own house, 
and there remain a prisoner until it pleased her Majesty to give orders 
for his release. To Essex this verdict was more lenient than he had 
expected ; he had regained his liberty, and his estates were not burdened 
with heavy fines ; for offences much less than his, men had suffered death 
upon the scaffold, and their wives and children had been left destitute^ 

1 State Papers, Domestic. December 29, 1599. 

* Ibid. Statement by David Roberts, 6.D. January 1, 1600* 

The Earl of Essex* s Rebellion. 53 

"Words, if you can," he writes to the Queen, 1 "express my lowly 
thankfulness, but press not, sue not, move not, lest passion prompt you, 
and I by you both be betrayed. Report my silence, my solitariness, 
my sighs, but not my hopes, my fears, my desires; for my uttermost 
ambition is to be a mute person in that presence where joy and 
wonder would bar speech, from the greatest lady's, in power and 
goodness, humblest vassal." 

On his release from custody, Essex hastened down to his country 
seat, Ewelme Lodge, Oxfordshire. Both he and his friends were 
confident, since he had been allowed to hold the office of Master of 
the Horse, that he would speedily be summoned to Court, and once 
more reinstated as the powerful Essex of old, the cherished favourite 
of his sovereign. Still, weeks passed on, yet no messenger rode up 
to his gates in hot haste with the summons he so ardently expected. 
He was alone, and he felt he was forgotten; his mistress was of 
sterner stuff than he had imagined, for he had offended her where 
she was most resentful ; he had acted independently of her autho- 
rity — for Elizabeth was not only the Queen, but the Government — 
and he had made deep inroads upon her purse. The debts 
of Essex had always been enormous, and now that he was out 
of favour his creditors became exacting and pressed him for 
payment In his more fortunate days the Queen had granted 
him a monopoly of sweet wines ; the patent was on the eve 
of its expiration, and the quondam favourite was most anxious 
to have it renewed. He knew that the moment was most 
critical : if the grant were confirmed to him, he felt that all was 
not yet lost ; if, however, it were refused, it would prove to 
him that the hope of restoration to the royal favour would 
henceforth be but the idlest of dreams. He wrote to the Queen. 2 
" If conscience did not tell me," he said, " that without imploring 
your goodness at this time I should lose the present support, my 
poor estate, the hope of any ability to do you future service, and 
the means of satisfying a number of hungry creditors, who suffer me, 
in my retired life, to have no rest, I would still appear before you as 
a mute person. But since, this day seven night, the lease which I 
hold by your beneficence expires, and that farm is my chief mainte- 
nance and only means of compounding with the merchants to whom 
I am indebted, give me leave to remind you that your courses were 
to tend to correction, not to ruin. If my creditors would take for 
payment many ounces of my blood, or if the taking away of this 

1 State Papers Domestic. September, 9, 1 600. 
* Ibid. September 22, 1600. 

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54 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

farm would only for want pinch my body, you should never hear of 
this suit I have no boldness to importune, and can draw no argu* 
ment to solicit. The only suit which I can make willingly, and must 
make continually, to you is, that you will once again look with 
gracious eyes upon me." 

Elizabeth, however, refused to be moved by honeyed words. She 
declined his request, adding that " an ungovernable beast must 
be stinted in his provender ! " This contemptuous reply was the 
One drop that caused Essex's bitter cup to flow over. He had been 
imprisoned, he had been separated from his wife, he had been 
deprived of his offices, he had been reprimanded by the Council, 
and had been exiled by his Queen from her Court. Whatever were 
the offences he had committed, he had never attempted to palliate or 
deny them ; he had acknowledged his guilt, and had been incessant in 
his prayers for pardon. Though his letters to his sovereign had 
remained unanswered, he had always written to her as the most 
penitent and respectful of subjects. "Until I may appear in 
your presence, and kiss your fair correcting hand, time itself is a 
perpetual night, and the whole world but a sepulchre," 1 were almost 
the last words he wrote to her before maddened into desperation. He 
had never taken advantage of his popularity to side with the Queen's 
enemies and thus make himself a danger to the State. He had been 
loyal, repentant, and above the intrigues of a traitorous ambition. 
But the bow too much strained will break ; and beneath the constant 
refusals of Elizabeth, the loyalty of Essex at last gave way. His 
wounded pride bade him abandon the humiliating pleadings of the 
past, and make his harsh mistress regret that she had ever driven 
him into the ranks of the opposition. Who was this relentless 
woman, he cried, to embitter his career and hand him over to his 
enemies ? He did not attempt to conceal his opinions ; he uttered 
insolent remarks about the Queen, which he knew would come to 
her ears ; whilst he openly defied the Council. 

There is no quarrel so bitter as the one between friends who 
have been estranged, where the man has had his pride wounded 
and the woman her vanity. The Queen called Essex a needy 
suppliant and a trickster, whilst the favourite retorted that Elizabeth 
was as crooked in her mind as in her body. From uttering 
offensive words, Essex now proceeded to meditate disloyal actions 
Aware that he owed all his disgrace to the malice of his enemies, 
he resolved upon playing the part in England which the Due 
de Guise had played in France — and compelling the Queen, even at 
1 State Pafers, Domestic. October 18, 1600. r 

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The Earl of Essex's Rebellion. 55 

the hazard of inciting the mob to revolt, to change her ministers. 
He secretly rilled his house on the banks of the Thames with 
disaffected Catholics and Puritans, and had the rooms guarded by 
a strong force of armed retainers. Informed of these preparations, 
the Lord Keeper, the Earl of Worcester, Sir William Knollys, and 
the Lord Chief Justice visited Essex House, and inquired, on behalf 
of the Council, what was the meaning of this armed assembly? 
Essex replied that, as his life was in danger, it was necessary for him 
to seek the protection of his retainers. To this the Lord Chief. 
Justice answered, that if Essex dismissed his forces, his case 
should be brought before the Queen, and justice done him. Here- 
upon the adherents of the favourite shouted that the Lords of the 
Council were only thus parleying to gain time, and a few raised the 
cry of " Kill them ! kill them ! " The Lord Keeper now asked to 
speak privately with Essex in his study. The request was granted ; 
but once in the room, Essex gave orders that the Lord Keeper and 
the rest of the Lords of the Council with him should be detained, 
with "all honour and courtesy," until his return from the City. 
"You will be deceived there," said the Lord Keeper; "for the 
Queen has many good subjects in the City." " I have great hopes 
of the City," replied Essex, "else I would never go there." "Then, 
if that be so," added the Lord Chief Justice, " it will be an occasion 
of effusion of much English blood, and an occasion of spoiling of the 
City by desperate persons, and it will be the worst for the Earl of 
Essex and his company in the end." The Lords were kept in custody 
about three hours ; but, " the better to pass the time," the Countess 
of Essex and Lady Rich came into the chamber and chatted with 
the prisoners. 1 

Meanwhile Essex had been busy trying to win over the citizens to. 
his side. Accompanied by the Earls Rutland, Southampton, and 
Bedford, Lords Sandys, Monteagle, and Chandos, Sir William Con- 
stable, Sir Charles Danvers, Sir Charles Percy, Sir John Tracy, and a 
following of gentlemen of birth to the number of nearly two hundred, 
armed only with rapiers, the favourite marched east, bidding all he 
met to join him. But the affair had now got wind, and hasty pre- 
parations were made to defeat his ends. The Lord Mayor and 
Aldermen hurried from St. Paul's, where they were listening to a 
sermon, to put the City in arms. Charing Cross and the back parts 
of Westminster were strongly barricaded. Whitehall was guarded by 
troops. A proclamation was hastily drawn up, calling Essex a 
traitor, and a handsome reward was offered to all who would capture 
1 State Papers, Domatic. Examination of Sir John Davies. February 10, i6oi. 

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56 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

him. It had been the intention of the favourite to go Straight 
to the Court and seize the person of the Queen; but, hearing 
of the barricades at Charing Cross, and how well Whitehall was pro- 
tected, he changed his mind and proceeded to the City to swell his 
following. Recruits, however, failed to enter his ranks. He walked 
up and down for four or five hours, but the citizens to a man refused 
to join him, though they dared not arrest him. Finding everywhere 
repulse instead of adherence, he began to return home. At Ludgate 
the gate was shut and vigorously defended by pikes. Sir Charles Blount 
was wounded and Sir John Tracy killed. To force the gate with his ill- 
armed retainers was impossible, and Essex now rapidly beat a retreat 
to Queenhithe, where he took boat for Essex House. Here they all shut 
themselves in, vowing " not to come alive into their enemies' hands." l 
This stern resolve, however, soon cooled. Essex House, though well 
supplied with " warlike provisions," was not adapted to stand a siege. 
From three in the afternoon till late in the evening the troops of the 
Lord Admiral surrounded the house and essayed to take it by storm, 
but on each occasion they were vigorously repulsed by the besieged. 
Petards were now brought from the Tower, and the Lord Admiral 
threatened to blow up the house, which hitherto " he had forborne to 
do because my Ladies Essex and Rich were within it." The Queen 
had sent word that she would not sleep until Essex House had sur- 
rendered, and the Lord Admiral now proceeded to carry his threat 
into execution. To spare the gentlewomen in the house he offered 
Essex two hours' respite, so that such dames could be removed from 
all danger. This proposal was readily accepted. " And yourself, 
my Lord," cried Sir Robert Sydney to Essex, " what mean you to do? 
for the house is to be blown up by gunpowder unless you will yield." 
•The only answer given was that they would the sooner fly to heaven. 
Essex was now remonstrated with upon the desperate act he was 
committing, and the Lord Admiral promised to place his grievances 
before the Queen if he would but surrender. " Ah ! " cried Essex in 
despair, " there is no one near the Queen that will be suffered to make 
a true report of this action, or to speak a good word for me." On 
the promise, however, of the Lord Admiral that such would not be the 
case, both Essex and Southampton consented to yield. They were 
at once arrested, and, in company with the leaders of their conspiracy, 
sent to the Tower. "And so," writes Vincent Hussey, 2 "that dismal 
tumult, like the fit of Ephemera, or one day's ague, ceased." 

1 State Papers^ Domestic. Cecil to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 
February io, 1601. Also .Vincent Hussey to . February n, 1601. 

' Ibid. February u, 1601. See also Cecil to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 
Same date. 

The Earl of Essex's Rebel lion. 57 

On the 19th of February 1600 the Earls of Essex and South- 
ampton stood at the bar of the Court of the Lord High Steward in 
Westminster Hall to be tried for treason. The case was so clear 
against Essex that it seemed impossible he could be acquitted. It 
was proved by witness after witness that he had gone about with 
armed men to coerce or disinherit the Queen, that he had imprisoned 
the Lords of the Council sent with orders to disarm the rebels, that 
he had attempted to raise the citizens, and that he had turned his 
house into a fortress for unlawful purposes. " What need I," said 
Coke, " to stand upon further proofs ? " " Essex's best cover," cried 
Bacon, " is to confess and not to justify." The favourite did not 
attempt to justify himself. He was not, he said, disloyal, nor had he 
ever entertained any idea of harming the Queen. His only object 
was to secure access to her Majesty, to unfold his griefs against his 
private enemies. He had never been a friend of sectaries or Papists, 
hypocrites or atheists. He admitted that he was wrong to have 
barricaded his house ; his adherents had wished him to yield, and he 
hoped that no crimes of his would be visited upon them. Both pri- 
soners were unanimously found guilty of treason, and sentence of death 
passed upon them. Southampton was afterwards reprieved. To the 
legal mind this trial is of great importance, since it was then laid down 
that to compel by force the King to change his policy was treason, 
and that rebellion and killing the King were offences deserving the 
same punishment Upon this construction of Lord Coke's much 
of the subsequent law of treason rests. 

As it was well known that Essex was beloved by the mob, and 
that an outcry might be raised against his imprisonment, instructions 
were drawn up by the Council for the use of the London clergy. In 
their sermons on the approaching Sunday they were to make special 
mention of the rebellion of the Earl of Essex — the most dangerous 
since the days of Richard the Second — and to paint his character in 
the blackest colours. They were to allude to his ingratitude in turning 
against the Queen after having had innumerable princely benefits 
heaped upon him ; to his dissimulation and hypocrisy in matters of 
religion ; to his disloyal conduct in Ireland, and to the courage and 
heroic magnanimity of the Queen. " Move, therefore," concludes the 
document, 1 " all thanksgiving to the Lord of hosts for her Majesty's 
most mighty deliverance, and to faithful prayer that God of His 
infinite mercy will still protect her." These instructions were carried 
out "Order was taken the Sunday following," writes Vincent Hussey, 2 

1 State Papers, Domestic. " Directions for the Preachers." February 14? 1601. 
* Ibid. February 18, 1601. 

58 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" that the preachers at Paul's Cross and other churches in London 
should deliver the same matters from the pulpit and decry the 
Earl of Essex as a hypocrite, Papist, and confederate with the 
Pope and the King of Spain, to make him king and bring in idolatry. 
But, as is usual in such cases, they, from malice or desire to please, 
amplified it beyond all probability. On the one side they ( crucify ;' on 
the other there is such a jealousy of light and bad fellows, that it is 
rumoured the preachers of London will rise and deliver him out of 
the Tower. The trained bands of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bucking- 
hamshire, and Surrey are called up to London, and lie in the suburbs 
adjoining the Court, which is guarded like a camp ; and troops of 
armed men march up and down, as if the Spaniards were in the land. 
There is a company continually in Paul's Churchyard, two at the 
Exchange, and the Mayor of London has two knights in show, as 
though there were great mistrust." 

It was not considered advisable by the Council that a long 
interval should elapse between the passing of the sentence and its 
execution. Essex was a prisoner who so warmly stirred the sym- 
pathies of the people, that every day his confinement became more 
and more dangerous. Now that her old favourite had been con- 
demned to death, the Queen looked tenderly back upon the past, 
and was at times more prone to forgive the traitor than to send 
him to the scaffold. She thought of all that was in his favour— 
his daring, his handsome presence, his accomplishments, the plea- 
sure she had enjoyed in his society, and preferred to forget his 
treachery and misconduct She hated the sight of those who pressed 
her to sign the fatal warrant ; she put off the evil day, she wept, and 
at last, torn by conflicting emotions, she fell seriously ill Surrounded 
by the enemies of the prisoner, only one side of his case was con- 
stantly presented to her — his defiance of her authority, his un- 
generous return for all the favours he had received, the flagrant 
character of the revolt he had excited, and, above all, the evil 
influence it would exercise upon the disaffected in the country should 
such an arch-traitor be pardoned. The unhappy woman hesitated 
between following the dictates of her heart and those of her judg- 
ment. At one time she took up her pen, resolved to end this painful 
indecision ; but when she read what were to be the consequences of 
her signature, she bent her head upon the parchment and freely gave 
way to her emotions. Thus days passed, and Essex knew not 
whether he might expect pardon or suffer condemnation. Then the 
influence of Cecil prevailed, and the warrant was signed. 

Late on the night of Tuesday, February 24, a despatch from the 

Digitized by VjOOQ LC 

The Earl of Essex's Rebellion. 59 

Lords of the Council was handed to Lord Thomas Howard, the 
Constable of the Tower. He was informed that early on Wednesday 
morning he was to receive at the Tower " two discreet and learned 
divines," who had been sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at 
the special request of her Majesty, to be present at the execution of 
the Earl of Essex, and " to give all comforts to his soul." Two 
divines had been sent, " because, if one faint, the other may perform 
it to the prisoner, of whose soul God have mercy." The Constable 
was then enjoined to take heed, with all care and circumspection, 
that Essex on the day of his execution rigidly confined himself in 
his speech from the scaffold within these limits : " viz., the confession 
of his great treasons and of his sins towards God, his hearty re- 
pentance and earnest and incessant prayers to God for pardon. But 
if he shall enter," continued the despatch, "into any particular 
declaration of his treasons, or accusation of any of his adherents 
therein, you shall forthwith break him from that course, for that the 
same was published at full length of his arraignment Hereof you 
must have a very great and vigilant care, for it is no ways fit that at 
that time he enter into any such course." The writs of execution 
were enclosed, and the Constable was instructed "within half an 
hour after his lordship has supped " to repair to the prisoner and 
inform him that " to-morrow between six and seven he is appointed 
to receive the execution of his judgment; that therefore, like as hitherto 
he has always owned himself most resolute and constant to die, so 
now he do prepare himself accordingly, that his soul may participate 
of heaven, freed from the miseries of this wicked world." At ten 
o'clock at night, two hours after the warders had taken away the 
prisoner's supper, Sir John Peyton, the lieutenant of the Tower, 
informed Essex that on the morrow at dawn he was to be sent into 
eternity. 1 

On receiving this intelligence Essex threw up the window of his 
cell and cried to the guard, " My good friends, pray for me, and 
to-morrow you shall see in me a strong God in a weak man ; I have 
nothing to give you, for I have nothing left but that which I must 
pay to the Queen to-morrow in the morning." He then laid down 
in his bed to rest, but shortly after midnight rose and dressed. 
In his cell were the two divines, Doctors Montfort and Barlow, sent 
by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and one Ashton, the private 
chaplain of Essex; with these the. prisoner spent the time till 
morning in prayers, confession, and preaching. Between seven and 

1 State Papers, Domestic. Lords of Council to the Constable of the Tower. 
Februa* *4, '&>'• Digitized by GoOgk 

60 The Gentleman's Magazine* 

eight A.M. Sir John Peyton entered his cell and bade the condemned 
man prepare for execution. Accompanied by his divines, Essex 
walked from his cell to the scaffold which had been erected in the 
high court where the church stands above Caesar's tower. At his 
special request, he had begged to be executed privately within 
the Tower, and the Queen bad answered his prayer. All the way 
from his prison to the scaffold Essex kept calling on God to 
give him strength and patience to the end, saying, "O God, 
give me true repentance, true patience, and true humility, and put 
all worldly thoughts out of my mind ; " at the same time he entreated 
those who went with him to pray for him. Having ascended the 
scaffold, which was draped in black cloth, he stood surveying 
the scene for a moment. He was dressed in a gown of wrought 
velvet, a satin suit, and felt hat, all black. In the middle of the 
scaffold was the block, with the masked executioner standing at its 
side, and behind him the guard. Seated on forms three yards from 
the scaffold were the Earls of Cumberland and Hertford, Viscount 
Bindon, Lords Thomas Howard, Morley, and Compton, in company 
with several knights, gentlemen, and aldermen, to the number of one 
hundred. After a brief silence Essex turned towards the three 
divines and said, " O God, be merciful unto me, the most wretched 
creature upon earth." Then gazing at the peers and gentry in front 
of him he took off his hat, laid it aside, and made them a profound 
reverence. Casting his eyes up to heaven, he thus addressed his 
audience : — 

" My lords, and you my Christian brethren who are to be wit- 
nesses of this my just punishment, I confess to the glory of God 
that I am a most wretched sinner, and that my sins are more in 
number than the hairs of my head ; that I have bestowed my youth 
in pride, lust, uncleanness, vainglory, and divers other sins, accord- 
ing to the fashion of this world, wherein I have offended most 
grievously my God; and notwithstanding divers good motions 
inspired unto me from the Spirit of God, the good which I would 
I have not done, and the evil which I would not I have done : 
for all which I humbly beseech our Saviour Christ to be the 
Mediator unto the eternal Majesty for my pardon; especially for 
this my last sin, this great, this bloody, this crying, and this 
infectious sin, whereby so many for love of me have ventured 
their lives and souls, and have been drawn to offend God, to 
offend their sovereign, and to offend the world, which is as great 
a grief unto me as may be. Lord Jesus, forgive it us, and forgive 
it me, the most wretched of all ; and I beseech her Majesty, 

' ' Digitized byXjOOg VC 

The Earl of Essex? s Rebellion. 61 

the State, and Ministers thereof, to forgive it us. The Lord grant 
her Majesty a prosperous reign, and a long one if it be His will. 

Lord, grant her a wise and understanding heart ; O Lord, bless 
her, and the nobles and ministers of the Church and State. And 

1 beseech you and the world," he said, looking at his hearers, "to 
have a charitable opinion of me for my intention towards her 
Majesty, whose death, upon my salvation and before God, I protest 
I never meant, nor violence to her person ; yet I confess I have 
received an honourable trial, and am justly condemned. And I 
desire all the world to forgive me, even as I do freely and from 
my heart forgive all the world." He then concluded, in refutation 
of the charges of his enemies, by declaring that he was neither an 
atheist nor a Papist, but a true Christian, trusting entirely for his 
salvation to the merit of his Saviour Jesus Christ, crucified for 
his sins. In this faith he had been brought up, and in this faith he 

He now took off his gown and ruff, and advanced to the block. 
The executioner came to him and asked his pardon. "Thou art 
welcome to me," said Essex, " I forgive thee ; thou art the minister 
of true justice." Then kneeling down on the straw before the 
block, with hands clasped and eyes raised to heaven, he prayed 
earnestly for faith, zeal, and assurance, craving patience " to be as 
becometh me in this just punishment inflicted upon me by so 
honourable a trial." On repeating the Lord's Prayer, in which all 
present joined with tears and lamentations, instead of the words 
" as we forgive them that trespass against us," he said, with marked 
emphasis, "as we forgive all them that trespass against us." Rising 
from his knees, he asked the executioner what was fit for him to do 
for disposing himself to the block. His doublet was taken off, but on 
hearing that his scarlet waistcoat would not interfere with the proceed- 
ings, he retained it. Then he laid himself flat upon the boards of the 
scaffold, and cried out, " Lord, have mercy upon me, Thy prostrate 
servant 1 " He was conducted to the block by his chaplain, and as 
he knelt before it said, " O God, give me true humility and patience 
to endure to the end ; and I pray you all to pray with me and forme, 
that when you shall see me stretch out my arms and my neck on the 
block, and the stroke ready to be given, it may please the everlast- 
ing God to send down His angels to carry my soul before His mercy- 
seat" Then fitting his head into the hollow of the block, so that his 
neck rested firmly on the wood and was fully exposed to the stroke, 
he was bidden by the divines to repeat after them the beginning of 
the 51st Psalm. Having said the first two verses, he cried out, 

J Digitized by V^OOV lC ' 

62 The Gentkntans Magazine. 

" Executioner, strike home ! Come, Lord Jesus ; come, Lord Jesus, 
and receive my soul 1 O Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit 1 ° 
The executioner had to strike three times before the head was 
severed, but at the first blow the victim was deprived of all sense 
and motion. As the head rolled on to the straw, the executioner 
took it up by the hair, saying, " God save the Queen ! " It was 
noticed that the eyes were still fixed towards heaven. 1 


1 State Papers ; Domestic, " Account of the Execution of the Earl of Essex." 
February 25, 1601. It varies considerably from all other published accounts. 

Digitized by 




Part II. 

J^ASSEMBLONS desfaits pour nous dontur des idces, taking the 
■**■ term " ideas " as synonymous with that philosophy the praises 
of which have already been sufficiently extolled. From the array of 
facts through which we have progressed, what ideas or inferences 
concerning the origin of animal colonies can be reasonably derived ? 
And, firstly, let us inquire what definition biology is prepared to offer 
as the criterion of animal or plant individuality. It is perfectly clear 
that some such test of an animal's nature is demanded, for instance, 
by the very diversity of form and constitution which the animal 
kingdom presents. An " individual " animal we may readily define, in 
respect of its structural constitution, as one in which all its parts and 
organs exist in such intimate relationship, that interference with one 
organ or series means the disorganisation of all. Close and inti- 
mately connected structure forms in reality the plainest criterion of 
the" " individual " animal viewed from that side of biology which 
regards morphology or " structure " as the basis of its philosophy. 
The integral constitution of its material parts is thus the plain test 
of an animal's " individuality," from the structural point of view. On 
such grounds, the man or the dog is obviously a much more typical 
u individual " than a " newt," which can part with its tail or legs, and 
yet live and develope new members in the place of the injured parts • 
and the newt, in turn, is a truer " individual," judged by its structural 
interdependence, than the zoophyte, whose buds as they fall are 
replaced without material disorganisation of its constitution. 
Professor Asa Gray well suras up the structural view of the 
u individual," when he remarks : " The idea of individuality which 
we recognise throughout the animal and vegetable kingdoms, is 
derived from ourselves, conscious individuals, and from our corporeal 
structure and that of the higher brute animals. This structure is a 
whole from which no part can be abstracted without mutilation. 
Each individual is an independent organism of which the component 
parts are reciprocally means and ends." 

64 The Gentletnatis Magazttu. 

But another method of viewing the personality of the animal 
is found in the deductions of physiology. Not " what it is " 
but " from what it has originated," is the test of physiological 
individuality. That alone, in physiological eyes, is an "indi- 
vidual" animal which is the total result of the full development 
of a single egg. Whatever a single egg becomes, in other words, 
represents the individual animal or plant. Testing some of the 
examples already noted by this criterion, we may readily enough 
distinguish the true individuality of the animal races we have 
passed in review. With respect to the personality of the higher 
animals, this test is susceptible of the plainest illustration. Each 
quadruped, bird, reptile, fish, oyster, &c. springs from a single egg. 
When each of the bodies in question has been formed, we know 
that the full development of the egg or germ has been attained 
Hence each of the aforesaid animals is an " individual" pure and 
simple, when judged by the standard of its representing the total 
result of a single germ-development. With the other illustrations, the 
case should be equally clear. A zoophyte (Fig. 7 y and a sea-mat (Fig. 8) 
spring each from a single egg, and the process of budding gives to 
each the plant-like form and the colonial organisation familiar to us in 
these beings. Hence the whole zoophyte, and the sea-mat in toto, are 
" individuals." What, then, it may be asked, are the separate members 
of either colony? Not " individuals "—for they merely represent 
parts of a single egg's development— but " zooids," is the biological 
reply ; comparable, it may be, to separate " organs " and " parts " in 
the higher animal, but not constituting of themselves "individual" 
personalities. The cases of the gregarina (Fig. 1) and sponge (Fig. 5) 
are each resolvable without difficulty on the premisses just indicated 
The single gregarina, arising from a true process of development, is 
a single individual, but the divided gregarina represents a compound 
personality. The whole sponge, arising as it does from an egg, is an 
" individual ; " and if each of its protoplasmic units be held to be 
not merely a cell, but a semi-independent and amoeba-like organism, 
the sponge is a " compound individual " in addition. So also with a 
tapeworm (Fig. 9) or other allied organism. The whole "worm" is one 
compound " personality," or one " individual," because it has arisen 
from a single ^gg, and because it represents the full development of that 
body. So likewise with the hydra (Fig. 6). Arising from a single egg, 
it gives origin by budding to other hydrae which break away from the 
parent-organism, and live an independent existence. But as these 
buds, although independent of the parent-body, nevertheless represent 
» For fig, 1 to IS. sec Part I. of this article, in the^une^^^ 

Colonial Animals and their Origin. 65 

part of the development of the single egg, We see that the " hydra* 
individual " is not the parent-hydra alone, but that parent, plus all the 
buds or hydras which are produced by it The next individual exist- 
ence begins with the production of an egg. Till that event happens, 
all the hydra, produced by budding or otherwise, are merely parts of 
an individual, and have of themselves no distinct personality. With 
the zoophyte and the hydra, therefore, the case for the "individual 
existence," as represented by the compound animal or by the single 
animal plus its buds, seems clear. Quoting Huxley once mow, we 
may say that " the multiplication of mouths and stomachs " in a 
zoophyte (Fig. 1 5, 2)— as the result of the budding of new members of 
the colony — " no more makes it an aggregation of different individuals 
than the multiplication of segments and legs in a centipede converts 
that arthropod into a compound animaL" " The zoophyte," continues 
the voice of authority, " is a differentiation of a whole into many parts, 
and the use of any terminology which implies that it results from the 
coalescence of many parts into a whole is to be deprecated." The 
plant-lice (Fig. 15, 3) are to be viewed in precisely the same light 
For, as Huxley remarks, "no doubt it sounds paradoxical to speak 
of a million of aphides, for example, as parts of one morphological 
individual ; but beyond the momentary shock of the paradox, no 
harm is done. On the other hand, if the asexual (i.e. the products of 
the pseudova) aphides (Fig. 15, 3, ee) are held to be individuals, it 
follows as a logical consequence, not only that all the polypes on 

a cordylophora (or zoophyte) are 'feeding individuals/ 

while the stem must be a ' stump individual/ but that the eyes 
and legs of a lobster are 'ocular' and 'locomotive individuals. 9 
And this conception is not only somewhat more paradoxical than 
the other, but suggests a conception of the origin of the 
complexity of animal structure which is wholly inconsistent with 

The point to which our inquiries have led us may be summed up 
in the conclusions, firstly, that animals exist either as simple or as 
compound ."individuals" — the first typified by the higher animal, 
and the latter by the zoophyte and the tapeworm tribe. A second 
inference deducible from our study is that the personality of an 
animal is in reality the direct result of its development, and of the 
manner in which its parts and organs are structurally related to each 
other. And a third deduction follows from our biological experience, 
namely, that the separate parts — or " zooids," as we term them— of a 
compound individual, are not necessarily connected by structural ties 
to the parent or primitive form. On the contrary, like the detached 

vol, ecu. ho, 1807. f 

66 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

buds of hydra, the free jelly-fishes of the zoophytes, or the apparently 
free and independent members of the plant-lice fraternity, the 
* zooids," which make up the personality of the true " individual," 
may be scattered far and wide from the parent organism, and be yet 
tied by transcendental bonds to the stock of which they are really 
intimate parts. 

But a further question still besets us, namely, as to the origin and 
meaning of the variations which animal individuality thus presents to 
view. If the true function of philosophy be that of affording a clue to 
the meaning of this world's phenomena by placing facts in their due 
relationship to each other, it follows that the higher knowledge of 
the varying "individuality" of living beings must resolve itself into 
an explanation of the causes through which such personality has 
been acquired. Such philosophy is necessarily founded upon that 
view of the order of nature which regards the universe as an arena of 
constant modification and progressive change, as opposed to the 
theory of its originally and inherent stable constitution. It is the 
theory of evolution, as opposed to that of specially designed ways 
and means in nature. On the former hypothesis alone is the 
question of the individuality of living beings debateable ; since the 
idea of stability in living organisms presents a dead wall to the further 
discussion of the present topic. Hence the data of evolution and 
progressive descent, with modification, must, in the present instance, 
be used as the pathway along which our explanatory steps are to be 

That every living being begins life in a simpler guise than that 
in which it spends its adult existence, is a kind of home truth in 
every-day life, as it is a dictum of biological science. The practical 
difference between a low and a high animal lies in the fact that the 
former does not advance much or anything beyond its primitive 
condition, whilst the latter in time exhibits an infinite complexity 
on its early structure. A gregarina or an amoeba are lower than an 
oyster, because development leaves the two former with bodies but 
little more complex at the end of life than at their birth ; whilst the 
oyster, beginning as an amoeba-like germ, takes farewell of develop- 
ment as an oiganism of high complexity, and as one whose frame 
exhibits a marked differentiation of its organs, parts, and tissues. 
Now, if the body of a higher animal be analysed out into its con- 
stituent parts, we may, microscopically, speak of it, with the greatest 
possible exactness, as a collection of cells and fibres — or more simply 
as a collection of cells, for the fibres arise from and are developed 
out of cells. So that even the complex frame of humanity is truly 

Digitized by VIjOOVIC j 

Colonial Animals and their Origin. 6) 

resolvable into groups of cells which, however varied in structure 
they may be, arise in their turn, at the commencement of develop* 
ment, first, from exactly similar cells, and more primitively from one 
and a single cell— the ovum or egg itsel£ Thus true is it that "all 
the higher forms of life are aggregates of such morphological units or 
cells, variously modified." 

But development teaches us something more. Every animal 
above the rank of the amoeba and its kind — and even these latter 
may be included in the statement — passes, in the course of its 
personal progress towards maturity, through a stage in which the 
original substance of the single primitive cell or egg breaks up into 
numerous other cells, through the subsequent arrangement of which, 
the body of the organism is in due course developed. In other 
words, there is an early tendency on the part of every animal and 
plant to depart from the single-celled stage, and to exhibit a com 
pound or collective structure. The egg 9 at first one cell, thus divides 
to form a colony. Nor may the transcendental glance cease at this 
stage of matters. If a colonial aggregation of cells at a very early 
stage of development be a reality of life, — if some animals, sponge 
and hydra for example, are but collections of primitive cells, — a no 
less stable fact is expressed in the statement that in the adult body of 
the highest animals such colonial aggregations are still to be traced. 
Each tissue of our frames, in its most vital phase, is a colony of cells— 
a compound cellular " individual," numbering units by the thousands, 
and possessing the power of growing, and reproducing new cells, as 
truly as the zoophyte, by budding, repairs the constant loss to which 
its component parts are subject. And there may further exist in the 
highest animals, cells or units which exhibit well-nigh as complete an 
independence of the frame in which they occur as do the animalcular 
hosts outside. Thus 
the white corpuscles 
of the blood (Fig. 16) 
of all animals exactly Fig. 16. White corpuscles or the Blood. 

resemble amoebae in ^^ erent forms assumed successively by a white blood-corpuscle. 

structure, size, and movements. They are known to pass through 
the walls of blood-vessels, to roam through the body at will, and 
are seen to exhibit an utter and complete independence of all the 
tissues of the body. More curious still, these white corpuscles have 
been seen to ingest solid particles, exactly as an amoeba or allied 
form receives its particles of food. It is not more wonderful, if 
we think the matter over, to find in our bodies many true 
"colonial" aggregates of cells, than to discover that certain of 

68 The Gentleman's Magazini. 

the cells thereof have developed an independence and freedom of 
motion equal to that of an animalcule living in its native haunts, and 
carried out through movements of exactly similar nature to those 
performed by the amoeba itself. Thus a first halting-place in our 
philosophy of individuality may readily be found in the declaration 
that the "colonial" or "compound" body is in reality the normal 
constitution of all animals, save the very lowest With the advance 
of life there has been exhibited a progress in complexity, and this 
progress has found structural expression in the conversion and 
multiplication of the original unit of the germ into the colonial and 
compound state. We ourselves are "compound" individuals, in 
the sense that our physical personality is not single in any sense, 
but markedly multiple. Our individuality may be named doubly 
"compound," in the sense that, whilst each tissue may be held to 
represent a " zooid," or colonial member of the body as a whole, the 
tissues are, in their turn, made up of " cells," each of which is a 
distinct morphological unit 

If the above deduction be correct, founded as it is upon strict 
physiological detail, it remains to discuss those cases of " colonial 
aggregations " in which the separate units are plainly recognisable, 
as in zoophyte, sea-mat, and tapeworm. Such cases will be found 
to differ not in kind, but in degree only, from the higher colonial 
organisations we have just described. The zoophyte and the highest 
animal are separated by a gulf not impassable or fixed, when the aid of 
broad generalisation in comparative anatomy is invoked. For there are, 
firstly, gradations and stepping-stones connecting the two extremes ; 
and there exists, moreover, a general principle of development whereby 
the differences between the colonial nature of the higher and that of 
the lower form may be apdy expressed. Thus the sponge illustrates 
a case in which the colonial nature of the highest organisms is plainly 
enough foreshadowed. A sponge or a hydra advances but a tithe of 
the developmental journey which a bird or quadruped has to pursue ; 
and as a result of its early arrest on the developmental pathway, its 
component units evince but little elaboration on their primitive and 
animalcular state. If a sponge is a mass of amoebae, as to its living 
parts, it exists in this simple condition because there was no further 
need for a more intimate relationship between its various units. The 
fact, already mentioned, that two fresh-water sponges, placed in con- 
tact, unite into one, shows the ill-defined nature of the individuality 
in a case like the present, where the units are merely placed in appo- 
sition, so to speak, and united simply by the common skeleton they 
elaborate. In a zoophyte (Fig. 7), which is in reality but little removed 

Colonial Animals and their Origin. 6<J 

above the sponge in the animal series, development and its attendant 
conditions — whatever these latter may have been — have together 
produced units as thoroughly distinct as those of the sponge, 
but nevertheless connected in the work of nourishing and repairing 
the colony. In the " sea-mats " (Fig. 8) we see a stage of colonial 
development in an animal form which more nearly approaches 
the condition of the higher animals, but which likewise lacks all 
the intimate features of connected interests seen therein. The 
" sea-mat " colony is an aggregate of units each of which we have 
seen to be perfectly independent, save for external connections, of 
its neighbour units. There must thus exist a certain and not 
distant parallelism between a " sea-mat's " constitution and that of 
higher beings ; inasmuch as both are colonial, and in both the 
units exist in a relative but by no means corresponding degree of 

Analogies are thus plentiful enough in showing us the stages which 
intervene between the dependence and connection of the units in 
higher life, and the comparative independence of those in lower life. 
But the cases of the Nai's or river- worm (Fig. 10), as well as those of 
the plant-lice and bees, show us plainly enough the amazing possibili- 
ties of highly organised animals becoming " colonial " organisms, 
even with complete separation and detachment of the units of the 
colony, which, however, in the case of the bees, as "social' 
insects, is again reconstructed in the institution of a co-operative 
life and existence. In the Nai's, we see illustrated a tendency 
towards repetition of " zooids," which may be viewed as leading 
towards an appreciation of the manner in which an originally 
jointed animal — itself colonial in one sense — advances towards the 
condition of the plant-lice and bees with free and separate units. 
It is not more surprising, we may repeat, to find the insect- 
individual with its separated and detached units, than to discover 
in the higher bird or quadruped the same colonial structure, but 
one likewise which is closely combined and intimately related 
as to its elementary parts. The possibilities of life are facts, 
indeed, which in the present case cut both ways, demonstrating, 
even if leaving the main collateral facts unexplained, how in the 
higher spheres of animal society, the independence of an animal 
colony may perfectly co-exist with the interdependence of its original 

But there exists for the biologist a final and authoritative court 
of appeal in the matter of the origin of the colonial constitution and 
its modifications, in the facts and teachings of development. The 

jro The Gentlemaiis Magazine. 

general tendency of any organism undergoing development is, as we 
have seen, one leading it towards differentiation and division of its 
primitive and originally simple substance. Even in the lowest confines 
of life we witness this tendency towards segregation and multiplica- 
tion of its parts. The gregarina (Fig. i, a) exhibits such a process, and 
the early stages of all living beings are marked by the segmentation 
and division of the germ. Conversely, as we ascend the scale of 
being, we witness as marked a tendency towards concentration and 
amalgamation of at least the superficial aspects of the organism. 
The higher animal or plant is not so markedly colonial as the lower 
organism. Externally, indeed, there may J>e no trace in the higher 
organism of compound nature ; whilst, as we have seen, the intimate 
constitution of its tissues fully reflects its colonial constitution. Then, 
also, arrest of the process of development seems to increase the 
tendency towards the colonial organisation. The tapeworms (Fig. 9) 
may, on good authority, be regarded as animals whose development 
has been arrested at an early stage of that process. We may readily 
enough conceive that, but for such arrest, these animals might have 
progressed towards that higher type of worm structure, in which the 
separate joints — seen in leech, nais, or earthworm — practically repre- 
sent the elements of a colony in close and inseparable union. Thus 
a leech or earthworm, like the higher animal, is "colonial" It 
represents the transition stage between a colony with loosely 
aggregated units, such as the sponge typifies, and one in which the 
units have become closely merged together, as in the bird or 
quadruped. This view of the intermediate place of these animals 
is not merely supported by their position in the animal tree, but 
likewise by the fact that each apparently closely connected joint of 
a true worm accurately represents the structure and functions of 
every other joint of the body — save, indeed, the specially modified 
segments of head and tail. The worms and their allies thus become 
interesting in our eyes, from the fact that they present us with 
examples of that degree of development which, whilst leading 
towards union of the original units of the organism, yet leaves their 
identity sufficiently distinct to permit their ideal separation and the 
realisation of their originally colonial nature, through the exercise of 
a free philosophy. 

Thus we again conclude that the primitive and earliest condition 
of structure in the living series is the " colonial " and compound con- 
dition. We arrive at this conclusion from a survey of the teachings 
of development, which shows us, firstly, that everywhere the germ 
in its earliest state tends to division and multiplication ; secondly, 

Colonial Animals and their Origin. y i 

that many organisms, such as the lower colonies of protoplasmic 
forms, or even the mere primitive sponges themselves, remain per- 
manently in a colonial condition, which would naturally enough 
represent permanent arrest of development in the early stages of 
egg-development ; and thirdly, we learn that arrest of development, 
even at a later stage, may produce the colonial organisations of higher 
types. This latter view meets the case of the tapeworms and of 
the true worms likewise. In the latter, as represented by the Nai's 
(Fig. 10), we see the hereditary tendency towards colony-making 
reproduced as accurately in the buddings of new individuals from 
the parent-body, as in the perpetual budding of the zoophyte. 
Last of all, we see in the highest animals the same innate and 
fundamental constitution on the basis of the colony. The human 
frame, morphologically viewed, is a collection of cell-colonies, 
produced by segregation of more primitive collections of units, 
and primarily, if the story told by development be true, by the 
modification first of one cell, and secondly of one original series of 

The fundamental constitution of the living worlds thus appears to 
be of colonial nature. It remains for us to discover how the com- 
pound constitution has merged into these united and single per- 
sonalities we regard as the highest members of the animal and plant 
series — in a word, how the " colony v has become the " individual," 
the highest type of which we recognise in ourselves. If varying con- 
ditions have operated to produce the diverse constitutions of animals 
and plants we see displayed before our waiting eyes to-day, we may 
justly assume that a more complex series of causes than we are able 
to determine is responsible for the origin of those higher natures of 
which we ourselves form part. Yet here and there clues to the 
understanding of the problem are not wanting in the considerations 
which the study of even lower grades of life disclose to view. The 
apparently single nature of the germ from which high and low 
organisms alike spring may best be explained, perhaps, on grounds 
connected with die husbanding of vital power, and on the idea 
that the apparent unity and singleness of the germ naturally re- 
produce the constitution of the single cells or units of the com- 
pound organism from which they spring. The egg or germ, 
in a word, reflects in its first stage the constitution of the 
particular unit from which it was derived. In its secondary stage 
it repeats the colonial condition of which its parent-unit formed 
part, and the features of which it is destined in due time to 

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j 2 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

As, however, we survey the fields of animal and plant existence, 
we discover plainly-marked tendencies of development which fully 
account for the advance from the true colonial constitution of 
zoophyte tapeworm and social insect to the marked and apparently 
single personality of higher life. The higher we rise in the organic 
series, the less marked becomes the tendency to devote the energies 
of life to the perpetuation of the species or race \ and the more per- 
fectly do the powers which concentrate, ennoble, and advance the 
individual interests become developed. It is a self-evident fact that 
in lower life much of the bodily energy is occupied with the develop- 
ment of new individuals, or, in the case of an animal colony, with 
increase of the colonial membership. One has but to glance at the 
zoophyte-races to find clear proof of this latter statement Imitating 
the plant-creation in the fulness of their vegetable growth, the tribes of 
zoophytes — and the tapeworm-race with its millions of ova, and inde- 
finite reproductive power as well — unquestionably possess as their chief 
end the perpetuation of the race. How changed is the physiological 
prospect in higher existence ! There the energies are devoted to the 
improvement, sustenance, and development of the individual. There 
is less devotion to the species as compared with what obtains in 
lower forms ; and the colonial interests, whilst still represented and 
conserved, are limited in their scope and direction to the develop- 
ment of new tissue-matter. The higher animal, in short, is not 
obviously w colonial " in the sense that a zoophyte or a " sea-mat n 
is compound, because the energies and forces, as well as the material, 
which in the lower being reproduces readily the form of the organism, 
are devoted to other functions. Life in the lower and compound 
organism is made up of one common interest, namely, the increase of 
the colony and species : in the higher animal, life becomes a far more 
personal matter, and its aims are more distinctly individualised. 
Existence in the colonial zoophyte is passed, so to speak, in marriage 
and giving in marriage \ and the interests of the race are bound up 
in the work of its own extension. In the higher organism, individual 
interests and the life of the single organism occupy the greater 
part of its energies, so that, to use an expressive dictum, " the 
organism is like a society in which everyone is so engrossed by 
his special business, that he has neither time nor inclination to 

There is abundant illustration at hand of the view that the culti- 
vation of individual interests destroys, by concentration of energy, 
the colonial organisation. Such an opinion finds its confirmation in 
the (fetalis of higher Winal existence, an4 in trie disappearance of 

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Colonial Animals and their Origin. 73 


those powers of bodily separation after injury which characterise 
lower life. The organic republic or colony, in which every unit is as 
good as its neighbour, is typically and perfectly represented in the 
zoophyte. But this thoroughgoing republicanism is as impossible of 
continuance in higher physical existence and in spheres biological, 
as it is found to be incompatible with the political development of 
nations. That is to say, as, in the life political, here and there special 
developments cause men to shoot ahead of their neighbours and to 
distance their competitors in the struggle for existence by individual 
strength and excellence, so in the life biological there is the same 
tendency to development of individual facul- 
ties and powers over the common interests, 
and the same conversion of the colonial 
organisation into the concentrated structure 
and functions of the individual organism. In 
the plant-world there is a similar tendency 
towards concentration as the concomitant of 
higher life. The colonial nature of many of 
the lowest plants (e.g. Vofoox\ which consist of 
aggregated masses of protoplasm,is undoubted. 
But in the highest plant-life also (Fig. 15, 1), the 
colonial nature is far more strongly marked 
than in many animals of by no means the 
highest grade. Where the leaf-type (e e) 
repeats itself indefinitely, where bud resembles 
bud, where there is witnessed the gradual 
transformation of leaf-type into flower-type 
(^), and of flower into the full fruition of 
plant-life, there is presented to our mental 
view an exact picture of the budding zoo- 
phyte (Fig. 15, 2), with its series of similar units (e e) — here and there 
modified, now for this function, now for that; and ultimately 
exhibiting the closest parallelism with the plant, in that its repro- 
ductive bodies (/) are but modifications of the ordinary members 
of the colony; as the flower, in turn, is but the last term in the 
modification of the lea£ Thus, as Asa Gray well puts it, " In 
the ascending gradation of the vegetable kingdom, individuality 
is, so to say, striven after, but never obtained ; in the lower 
animals, it is striven after with greater though incomplete success ; 
it is realised only in animals of so high a rank that vegetative 
multiplication or offshoots are out of the question— where all parts 
are strictly members and nothing else, and all subordinated to 

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Fig. 17. Daisy. 


The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Fig. 18. Section of Daisy. 

a common nervous ceutre ; it is fully realised only in a conscious 

Yet, whilst the plant- 
world has not as a whole 
advanced towards the 
higher phases of indi- 
viduality, we may discern 
here and there within its 
limits, signs of that uni- 
versal progress which 
evolution postulates and 
which biological research 
reveals. Here and there 
we witness among plants a 
progression from the prevailing colonial organisation towards single- 
ness of type. The Composite race of plants 
derive their name from the fact that each 
flower of the order is not a single flower, but 
a collection of florets. A thistle (Fig. 21) or 
a daisy-head (Fig. 17 and 18), for example, is 
not one flower, in the sense in which a butter- 
cup or lily is single, but is an aggregation of 
small stalkless flowers (18, co 9 co) closely packed 
together on one main stalk. If we examine the 
thistle- head, we shall find it to consist of nu- 
merous little flowers (2 1 c, c) t of similar appear- 
ance, each containing the essential organs and 
parts seen in other single flowers. In the 
Centauries of our waysides and cornfields, we 
witness the same composite structure of the 
flower-head ; but here, the outermost florets (20a) 
of the "head" have begun to develope into 
petal-like organs, and have lost their stamens 
and pistils. The Centaury, in other words, 
has developed the beginning of a low indi- 
viduality; it is losing its completely compound 
nature, and is advancing towards the single- 
ness of type of ordinary flowers. Thus, in 
Ceniaurea ntgra 9 these outer florets vary in 
size ; they may resemble the inner ones in size, 
or may be larger, and they may want both 
In another species (C scabiosa), stamens and 

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Fig. 19. Dandelion. 
b t Ripe flower-head. 

stamens and pistils. 

Colonial Animals and their Origin. 


pistils never occur in the outer florets ; and in Centaurca cyanus 
(Fig. 20) likewise, these florets (a) are useless for reproduction, and 
are passing towards the type and function 
of ordinary petals. So also in the familiar 
dandelions (Fig. 19), we may witness a stage 
in advance of the thistle. For whilst the 
latter plant has its florets similar and incon- 
spicuous, the dandelion (Fig. 19) has added 
to its similar florets the bright corollas, 
which serve to render this wayside plant so 
conspicuous to insect eyes as well as to our 
own perception. When the dandelion ap- 
pears with its outer florets expanded, while 
the inner florets have still to unfold, the 
flower bears no inconsiderable resemblance 
to the ordinary type of single flower. Far 
more advanced, however, towards the indi- 
viduality of other plants, are the marigolds, 
daisies (Figs. 1 7, 1 8), and their allies. Here the 
likeness of the single flower deceives the non- 
botanical observer into supposing that each 
daisy in reality corresponds to each butter- 
cup or primrose in its constitution. For 
the outer florets of the daisy and marigold 
have developed, as those of the centauries 

(Fig. 20, a) are developing, into long petal-like organs (Fig. 18, r). 
Moreover, these outer florets are losing the reproductive organs they 
still possess in the dandelion. 
The stamens have disappeared 
in the outer white and yellow 
flowers of the daisy and mari- 
golds respectively, leaving the 
pistil alone represented (Fig. 
x 8 r % sg)\ whilst the yellow 
central florets (d l d*) possess 
both stamens and pistil, and 
are therefore the true pro- 
ducers of seed. It is foreign 
to our present inquiry to notice 
how this arrangement of the 
flower parts, by placing the brightly coloured parts on the outside, 
imparts to these plants their conspicuous nature, and thus, by attracting 

igi ize y g 

Fig. 20. Centaur<a Cyanus, or 
Cokn Bluebottle. 

Fig. ax. 

Head of Thistle showing numerous 

7 6 

The Gentleman 's Magazine. 

insects, gives them a very marked advantage in the struggle for exist- 
ence, through securing more frequent fertilisation. How or why this 
greater attractiveness has been acquired is immaterial. That which 
is all-important for us to note is, that concurrendy with a conspicuous 
dress there is being developed in such flowers as the daisies and 
marigolds a return to that singleness and individuality which was in 
all probability once represented in their race, before the work of 
aggregating once separate flowers to form one flower-head had begun. 
The thistles remain types of a true flower-colony. The dandelions 
and centauries lead us from the thistles with similar florets to an 
intermediate type, wherein we see being developed those features 
which, along with abortion of part of the outer florets, are causing 
the compound flower to assume the dress of its simple neighbour; 
whilst in the daisies specialisation has advanced a step further, and 
has developed a very marked likeness to the simple flowers around. 
If these modifications progress in the future as in the past, we may 
naturally expect that the " floures white and rede " of Chaucer, and 
their allies, will develope a still more marked individuality, and will 
leave the compound nature of their race further and further behind. 
It may be, lastly, interesting to note that the crowding together 

of flowers on a 
11 flower-head," seen 
in the daisies and 
their neighbours, is 
susceptible of ex- 
planation through a 
study of the modifi- 
cations and grada- 
tions witnessed in 
the arrangement of 
flowers on their 
axes. From cases 
in which we find 
flowers situated 
each on a distinct stalk of its own, as in the Corymb and the Umbel 
(Fig. 22) of botanists, to the condition of the " flower-head," we can 
pass by easy gradations. If we cut short the stalks of the umbel, and 
thus crowd the separate flowers on the end of a common stalk, we 
obtain a fair idea of the possible origin of a flower-head by abortion 
of the flower-stalks of an umbel or allied floral arrangement. The 
fact that such crowding of flower-heads on a common stalk is not 
limited to the Composite or Daisy-tribe, but occurs in otl 

Fig. 29. a, Simple Umbel of Cherry; b t Compound Umbel 
op Fool's Parsley. 

tther plant- 

Colonial Anifnals and their Origin. 77 

orders, argues powerfully in favour of its acquired nature as the result 
of common modifying conditions. Thus a head of clover essentially 
repeats the condition of the thistle or centaury. And we can obtain 
a fair idea of the effect of modification by the disappearance of 
flower-stalks, if we look at a simple umbel, seen in the cherry (Fig. 
22, a), or a compound umbel, seen in fool's parsley (Fig. 22, b\ and, 
by crowding the flowers together, minus their stalks, imagine their 
growth in one stalkless group to represent the " flower-head " of the 
daisy or thistle. 

Summing up our studies in organic individuality, we may say that, 
firstly, the original and primitive condition of all organic beings is a 
colonial condition. This phase is exemplified, primarily, in the 
segmentation of the egg and in the cell-multiplication of plant-germs ; 
two features of so universal occurrence that we may lawfully claim 
for them a great importance in the evolution of the organism and a 
high antiquity in the history of living things. It is likewise imitated 
in the so-called asexual reproduction of the lowest animals, repre- 
sented by the gregarinae and amoebae. A second conclusion that 
follows from the teachings of development may be expressed by say- 
ing that this tendency to division of substance is most typically seen 
in lower organisms, where, as exhibited in the sponges, zoophytes, and 
their allies, the constitution of the individual is undeniably compound, 
and where its advance is marked merely by the multiplication of 
new types of colonial and connected units. We discover, thirdly, 
that the tendency to degradation and retrogression may likewise 
plainly develope the compound and colonial state. It is highly 
probable that the tapeworms, the ordinary worms, and even Articulate 
animals themselves, illustrate cases in which a primary development 
of like segments or colonial units through arrest of growth, and 
through simple bodily division and repetition of like parts, has paved 
the way for succeeding modification of the colonial type. If the 
evolution of the centipedes, insects, spiders, and crustaceans from a 
lower worm type be accepted as proved, or even as probable, the 
characteristic features of these animals must have been fundamentally 
derived from those colonial tendencies we see exhibited in the worms 
of to-day. A fourth conclusion teaches that the plant-world is 
markedly colonial even in its highest types. The vegetative repeti- 
tion of bud, leaf, and flower is simply a pure indication of colonial 
constitution exhibited in all that perfection of detail which has 
escaped the more forcible modification of the animal series. A 
fifth inference directs attention to the essentially colonial consti- 
tution of even the highest animals, as exhibited in their cellular 

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78 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

structure, and more especially in the independent constitution of 
many of their component cell-elements. And a sixth and final 
conclusion is deducible from our studies — namely, that concentra- 
tion of structure and function, and the metamorphosis of the colony into 
the true individual, is at oncfe a cause and a result of the progressive 
tendency of life at large. The higher we rise in the scale of being, 
the more united and specialised do structure and function become. 
Such a tendency is represented, as we have seen, even amongst plants, 
in which the colonial and compound type tends to resolve itself into 
the simpler and more individualized phase. At the same time, we 
must recognise that, despite the functional unity of the highest 
animals, there remains in their relative cellular independence the 
traces of a colonial constitution, once universal, and still linking 
them by real as well as by transcendental bonds to lower and ante- 
cedent phases of existence. 

The topic of the personality of living beings, like most other bio- 
logical subjects, relates itself more or less indirectly with matters 
personal and ethical which are far beyond the scope of the present 
paper. But it is permissible, in a closing sentence, to remark that 
many of the characteristic traits of the life of the higher animals, in- 
cluding man himself, may perchance be traceable to an unconscious 
perpetuation of habits and customs which find their beginnings and 
germs in the lower colonial organisms whose history has just been 
discussed. The nervous acts of man and the higher animals generally, 
for instance, convince us that many of the functions of the brain, 
and the automatic actions of the body depending on the independent 
constitution of our nerve-centres, may be legitimately explained by 
referring them, as regards their origin, to an originally colonial con- 
stitution, and to a primitively colonial ancestry. Even a glance at 
the serial repetition of the bones (or vertebrae) in the spine of man 
or other backboned animal, eloquently enough testifies to the appa- 
rent colonial constitution of these forms. There is a striking analogy, 
which has not escaped biological notice, between the arrangement 
of these segments in the Vertebrata and the similar disposition of 
parts in the Articulata or worm and centipede-type. However the 
Vertebrate's serial arrangement has originated, it may perhaps be 
held as legitimate evidence of compound nature ; just, indeed, as the 
colonial nature of Vertebrate tissues demonstrates that nature in 
another fashion. And so, also, with other phases of human relation- 
ship and functions. As the various detached buds of a hydra, or 
the free-swimming buds of a zoophyte, are still part and parcel of 
the individual constitution, or as the plant-lice and bees, apparently 

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Colonial Animals and their Origin. 79 

of distinct personality, are in reality only parts of the connected 
colony, so, in the sphere of human relationships, the origin of the 
tribal connection or of the family constitution — itself the most 
expressive of all human institutions — may perchance be found to 
exist in germ-form in the hidden transcendental bond which the 
philosophy of the lower animal individuality discloses. The deep- 
seated affections and relationships which, collectively, we call 
" society," may have had their first beginnings in the connected series 
of interests which even the zoophyte-series discloses to view. In 
other words, we are constituted as we are, gregarious, social, and 
ethical, because we are physically " colonial" by constitution, and 
because in our origin we are essentially "of colonial and compound 
nature. And if such a thought be regarded as too improbable for 
realisation, it should be borne in mind that our structural beginnings 
themselves are of the lowliest and simplest description. If the 
structural germs of the highest life begin, as they certainly do, under 
an animalcular guise, is it overstepping the possibilities of natural 
facts to suggest that the social traits and characteristics to which that 
germ attains may likewise have had a lowly and material beginning? 
Such an idea, so far from possessing any elements of impossibility, is 
grounded on a rational basis — namely, on that opinion which teaches 
that community of origin may, and often does, entail similarity of 
results. Sufficient has been said to show that in human existence 
reign many of the colonial traits of lower spheres. And if, perchance, 
some dim echoes of such lowly traits may linger in the scientific mind 
when contemplating the highest existence of all, the mind will regard 
such similarity as founded upon no chance basis, but as having 
originated from that continuity of cause and effect which runs un- 
broken through the warp and woof of the universe of life. 


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8o The Gentleman's Magazine. 


THE Spring Fishing of the year z88x was everywhere bad, and 
the only mitigating thing about it was this — the prospects 
were so hopeless that anglers generally refused to place themselves 
within reach of the cruel torment of disappointment. They re- 
mained at home, hoping for better times, wondering if that terrible 
east wind would ever blow itself out, and the waters receive purge- 
ment and replenishment from warm rain and wholesome flood. The 
experienced man would know to a nicety what to expect after a 
month's cold east wind, with scarcely a shower of rain. ' He would 
count his chances, and with mathematical precision pronounce them 
nil. An east wind is enough to discourage, without going further; 
but when to it must be added water clear as crystal, and at its 
minimum condition of depth, the data upon which to build a 
forecast are complete. And, as we know, this was the state of 
affairs in March 1881. 

No more will the east wind of the British Islands find friendly 
apologist in me. I now know him for the ruffian that he is. For- 
merly, if I did not hail him, or pretend to hail him, as a fine roystering 
sort of fellow, I certainly did not join in the popular execrations 
which greet his blusterings; nay, might even, in presence of 
some acquaintance whom he had nipped, have touched him up with 
faint praise. He had never harmed me, nor inconvenienced. Per- 
sonally I bore no grudge. But I link myself here and now with 
the great Galileo and the great Cranmer : I make public recantation. 
Coming across the Bay of Biscay towards the end of March, after an 
absence in climes where the east wind is a welcome guest, we 
naturally looked for the fag end of the Equinoctials. To our 
astonishment, the dreaded Bay was calm and quiet ; calm by lack ot 
wind, and quiet because the dark waters were not troubled by the 
famous swell which so often, even when the weather is calm, makes 
you sickly sad in those latitudes. But running away from Ushant 
one night, we met an easterly gale which roared in our teeth all the way 
up channel, and, spite of bright sunshine, cut into our marrow-bones. 
Within four-and-twenty hours of landing, that east wind caused me 

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Spring Trouting. 8r 

to take part in a melancholy duty in Brompton Cemetery. An 
elderly relative coming into town from Kew, turned the corner of a 
West-end street : a furious gust met him, knocked off his hat, and 
tore open his overcoat The hat was soon recovered and the coat 
rebuttoned, but my poor friend had in that brief space of time 
received a death grip which in three days accomplished its fell 
work. Small matter by comparison with this was the suffering of 
those of us new from the lands of the sun — the influenza, the 
doctor's stuff, the despair of ever again feeling hopeful and warm. 
But it enters into the indictment with the rest, and warrants a 
charge of ruffianism — treacherous, merciless ruffianism — against the 
east wind. 

Down in Westminster, one cold gloomy morning, an angling con- 
clave met at breakfast, for the express purpose of talking trout. One 
had just come from Devonshire, reporting dismally of the prospects 
of sport there. Derbyshire ? Worse still : indeed, it was much 
doubted whether Dove, Derwent, or Wye had a trout left to ring 
them by a solitary rise. Ireland, too far: Scotland, ditto. For certain 
choice streams, preserved, but accessible perhaps as a favour, the 
season was too early; for any stream, in short, the conditions were 
in the highest degree unfavourable. The meeting, so agreeing with- 
out division, threw its cigar- ends into the grate, and scattered. For 
myself, I had a charge to keep. For a couple of months I had 
determined upon a bit of spring trouting. In tropical seas, as the good 
ship pounded on, day and night, nof-west-and-by-nor* (more or less), 
approaching every twenty-four hours some three hundred miles 
nearer home, the determination was not weakened. East wind or 
none, this trouting had to be tried. 

After watching the weather-cock daily on fourteen successive 
mornings and evenings, and finding the dragon's head of the vane 
obstinate between north and east, there came a Saturday morning 
when, peering through the Venetian blinds, I found the smoke from 
the chimney over the way telling a cheering tale in its own dumb 
fashion. The wind had shifted a few points south of west, and blew 
without a sting, steady and genial The auspicious moment had 
arrived for hasty preparations and a prompt start. The prepara- 
tions were soon made — rod, winch, fly-books, landing stick and 
net, wading gear. It is always best to tick them off on the fingers. 
Nothing makes a man look so sheepish as to unpack his materials 
by riverside, perhaps hundreds of miles from home, and discover 
that everything has been provided with elaborate care, even to scis- 
sors, pliers, thread, and india-rubber for straightening out the cast — 

vol. ecu. no. 1807. G 

82 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

everything but the winch and line. Flies one need scarcely ever 
trouble about for home fishing, except in very remote parts : they 
are best procured in the locality to be operated upon. 

Preparations made, there arose a rather important question. To 
what place should I go ? The morning's Field\zy on the table. Now, 
the reader had better understand at once that the angler who shapes 
his movements by paragraphic inspirations must take his chance of 
being disappointed. The paragraphs are occasionally misleading 
by accident; there is no reason for thinking design to be other than 
a very rare occurrence. But the rivers open to the public are 
becoming so few, that the angler who puts his brethren upon a 
reliable track is conferring upon them a benefit, and the reader shall 
on that consideration have my experience in the business. 

Taking up the Field, then, I made up my mind that if nothing 
eligible offered in its pages, I would betake me to the Yorkshire 
wolds, in whose brooks I had been assured plenty of small trout 
were to be taken. The telegraphic news was discouraging enough, in 
all conscience. It would be so as a matter of course, the wind on 
the previous day being in its worst quarter. " Not a fly of any kind 
on the river yesterday." I should opine not, indeed. This was the 
Test : " River very low and clear. Wind north-east, fish not rising." 
So much for the Usk. It was a model statement ; a complete essay 
leading up to a severely logical conclusion. The Yore and Swale, 
with my wolds scheme simmering, interested me most The telegram- 
evidently was evasive, but there could be no mistaking its meaning : 
" Weather keeps dreadfully cold — very few natural flies on the water 
— surface anglers doing next to nothing — good dish of trout is a 
rarity," &c &c. Such were the salient features of the announcement. 
This being a sample of the very latest intelligence, it seemed idle to 
turn to that valuable column of angling records, " Notes and Queries." 
Yet a paragraph, side-headed " The Vemiew (Montgomeryshire)? 
attracted my attention, as they say in the law courts. It referred to 
another paragraph in a previous number, and that, unearthed, 
expressed wonder why the Vemiew was never mentioned as an 
open river, and gave some definite information that seemed sterling. 
Returning to the later copy of the paper, I found two paragraphs from 
different correspondents, and they agreed in their statements that the 
trout were small, but plentiful ; that permission was easy to obtain, 
where the water was not open ; and that the accommodation was good. 
What finally settled me was the sentence : — " The only reason I can 
assign for its being so little known is that it is rather inconvenient 
to reach." The very place. Anglers perhaps are a trifle selfish— ? 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 

Spring Tr outing. * 83 

exclusive, perhaps, is the more accurate expression. Llanfair was 
" so little known." This decided me, and per nine-something train 
from Euston, to Llanfair I booked. 

In the small hours, in a deserted railway-station dark and dreary, 
pacing up and down, I discovered a fishing-basket and rods amongst 
somebody's luggage waiting to go on with the train into Wales. We 
resumed our travels soon after the pale dawn had chased part of the 
gloom from the station (at Shrewsbury it is not at the best of times a 
place for hilarity), and, as a matter of course, the bearer of my fishing- 
basket found himself occupying a carriage with the owner of that 
other basket Somehow, these fishing-baskets by a silent and un- 
assisted process do often gravitate towards each other in this friendly 
manner. The owner was accompanied by a bright-eyed young lad, 
to whom that midnight journey, with fishing at its terminus, was 
evidently an adventure to be spoiled by neither cold nor hunger. 
We did not exchange visiting cards, but we did exchange paragraphs 
snipped. from the Field. We had sped on our errands under the 
same monitorship of the morning. Mine, as I have explained, was 
sending me to Llanfair : his was taking him to the Artog Hall Hotel, 
between Dolgelly and Barmouth, We wished each other good luck 
at Welshpool, at which station I left the train, nevertheless half- 
minded to abandon Llanfair, and proceed with my newly-made 
acquaintances, who would have sea-fishing and a yacht at their 
disposal — a most valuable dernier ressort at all times for the land 

After a night journey, with wearisome stoppages at indifferently 
appointed stations, it is not the most enjoyable of things to be 
deposited in a small country town before it is astir. How cold it 
was, too, for April ! Yet, it might have been fancy. The blackbirds 
and thrushes, bless them, were making music fortissimo in the 
shrubberies, and I listened to them with an appreciation peculiar to 
any country-loving person who has not heard them, or their tribe, 
for years. The shutters were up, which, it being Sunday and in 
Wales, was not surprising ; but the butt-end of the fishing-rod freely 
applied to the front door, in a reasonable space of time brought 
down a ruddy-armed damsel to open the hotel. 

" Pool," as the natives call their town, is a quiet, comfortable- 
looking place, as country towns go, with a canal, and the usual public 
buildings. At some period, I suspect, it has been trying, on its smaller 
scale, to assimilate itself to Shrewsbury, which is but a score of 
miles distant, and no doubt to many of the inhabitants the highest 
type of what civilisation can produce in the shape of a city. A climb 

g 2 

84 The GentUmatis Magazine. 

up the side of the very steep churchyard gave me a fine view of the 
neighbourhood, which, by reason of Powys Park, and other country 
seats, is far above the average of rural beauty. The ever sweet 
clanging of the Sunday bells continued during breakfast-time, and at 
their call the town, by eight o'clock, was evincing incipient tokens of 
waking up. The rattle of our waggonette wheels sounded hollow and 
startling at that peaceful hour, and cottagers appeared at window and 
door to scan the novelty. On week-days there is a coach to Llan- 
fair, but on Sundays you have to remain in Welshpool, or indulge in 
the luxury of posting. 

A lovely drive of nine miles brings you to Llanfair. The road 
for the most part runs along the side of a slope. On the other side 
of the valley you have the park surrounding " Red Castle," the 
baronial residence of the Earl of Powys, of this part the respected 
magnate. In these days, when suburbs of unadulterated streets by 
• the score call themselves parks, I ought perhaps to explain, in the 
language of the driver of my waggonette, " Yes, sir, this is a park, 
and no mistake." It is the kind of domain where the gnarled trees 
can reckon their age by centuries ; the deer have miles of varied 
roamage land ; the woods stretch away out of ken ; and the wanderer 
may everywhere discover thickets and dells of wildest sylvan beauty. 
But the spring was late in coming. The vernal advance was much 
more delayed than in southern England The hedges were display- 
ing their tender leaflets, and waxen buds tipped the branches of 
trees. In the hedgerows, too common for rifling by the children, 
masses of primroses of the largest petal and daintiest colour stood 
clear out from the strong leaves, from which, save at the zenith of 
their maturity, they love to seek protection. The fields were gay 
with buttercups and amazing patches of full-blown daffodils. The 
woods as yet had no leaves, and the only approach to green was 
upon the young larches, cultivated in these parts upon every available 
space, to supply the coalpits with props. Not here will I pour out 
my praise of the larch, the herald of spring in the plantation, as the 
violet, primrose, and anemone are in the hedgerow. The wind may 
pierce and rave defiance, but when the larch puts forth that wonder- 
ful green that belongs to itself, you may read a sure promise that 
winter is as good as gone. The other trees had no tint other than 
that which is so hard to describe, but which is so characteristic ot 
the time of the year. Mr. Sawyer, in one of his musical poems, does 
however describe it thoroughly in the line : 

The wine-dark masses of the wood. 
The oak wood? in Powys Park on that Sunday morning seemed a<> 

Spring Trouling. 85 

if they had been washed in red wine. I know that purple tint well. 
It will change very rapidly, for it always exists just before the shooting 
of the leaves. 

For the latter half of our journey the river ran in the valley, 
often overhung by the woods, not often violently broken, but dis- 
tinguished by an even ripple that would at sight commend it to the 
angler. Crossing a bridge, I saw a salmon break some distance up 
the stream, and then learned that, if the salmon are not numerous, 
some are taken every season. 

Llanfair is too small to rank as a town, and too large to be dubbed 
a village. Homely as it is in itself, the immediate surroundings are 
very picturesque, of the Welsh order of picturesqueness, when it is 
a portion of the Principality that is well wooded. The river Banw — 
a branch of the Verniew, which is a branch of the Severn — runs 
through the place. You cross it by a bridge on entering the lower 
part of the town, and, by the narrow winding street, get high above 
it in a few minutes. From the comfortable — comfortable in propor- 
tion to their unpretending character — anglers' true head-quarters, 
the " Goat Inn," glimpses of the river might be seen. The angler 
on his roamings should always be quartered, when possible, in a 
room from which he can see the water if he be so minded. Angling 
pictures on the wall may at a push serve as a substitute, but for 
comforting, soothing, inspiring, and encouraging the angler, there is 
nothing so effective as the close vicinity of a stream ; and if it makes 
itself heard, be it only a murmur, its power is much enhanced. It will 
enter into his dreams. In the morning, in slippered ease, when his 
bosom is full of hope of what the day, viewed through the meshes of 
the landing-net, may bring, he will nod a recognition before equipping 
himself for his excursion. At eventide, luxuriously tired in his arm- 
chair, reviewing, with such heart as the amount of spoil will regulate, 
what has been done, seen, said, and felt during the day's sport, he will 
soon learn to detect the faintest change in the never-ceasing undertone, 
and hope or despair afresh. 

A Sunday afternoon stroll down to the weir, where a few idlers 
dangled their feet over the rocky river-bed, discoursing of a pheno- 
menal trout seen the day before by workmen making repairs, and 
up the stream through the meadow and wood pathways, convinced 
me that there were no flies about. East wind again, I suppose 1 
The fly which dances so madly over the gravel, from which it takes 
its name, ought to have been out in swarms. It is the favourite 
spring fly here, but here it was not. Nor was the ghost of a March 
brown to be found, nor the pretty iron-blue dun which loves to tower 

86 The Gentlemaris Magazine. 

in the air, poising itself perpendicularly on its tail till it is out of 
sight. At odd hours of calmness and sunshine during the week I 
saw solitary specimens ; but I believe the fly famine lasted till the 
middle of May, if, indeed, it is even now at an end. 

On my first fishing morning of course the wind was in the north 
again, with west and east alternately striving to put in a flavour, 
but with the most contemptible result The clouds were low on the 
hills, woolly and slate-hued. Still, there was a day's work to be done, 
and any angler is aware that eight hours' steady fly-fishing, wading, 
now over ridges of slate, now over large boulders, slippery by lengthy 
surcease of flood, and often throwing a long line across a foul wind, 
is verily hard work. You earn your fish, and you earn it by the 
sweat of your brow. The day's work in my case was sweetened by 
eight trout, or one trout per hour. The fish were small, say five to 
the pound, and not in good condition. Yet they were game fellows, 
and went for the March brown honourably. To complain of them 
would be dastardly ingratitude. To complain of the modest sum 
total, made the most of on a willow-pattern dish by an artistic 
cushion of graceful young fern fronds, would not be fair, seeing that 
it exceeded any estimate founded upon the morning's careful calcu- 
lations. I did not observe a fish rise all the day. The water was so 
clear that, when the bank and bushes were favourable, you could see 
every pebble at the bottom for a considerable distance, but there 
was not a trout visible. 

The fish were at home, which, to the fisherman, means too truly 
not at home. It does so happen sometimes, and all that is left is to 
call again, and again, even to seventy times seven, until you are 
favoured with an interview. If the samlet had been trout, my dish 
would have numbered fifty brace at the lowest computation. The 
voracious samlet, with its frosted silver vesture slashed by delicate 
bars, is a pretty object, but, for all that, a downright nuisance. At 
every throw, often two at a time, regardless of the size or description 
of fly, it was nothing but samlets from three to four inches long. 
They wore out one fly completely. The shallow streams must have 
literally swarmed with samlets. 

The dismay of a sharp little Welsh boy, who was installed as 
henchman during my stay, was ludicrous when he found that the 
samlet were to be returned to the water. He was too naturally 
polite to speak his thoughts, but he was fearfully depressed when 
once he had overcome his original incredulity. This mental con- 
dition he arrived at after the return of some half-dozen, and when 
he was convinced that the infant salmon had not accidentally slipped 

Spring Trouting. 87 

out of my fingers. Then he tried the artful dodge, and would 
encouragingly, and with an admirable simulation of glee, exclaim, as 
a very pronounced samlet wriggled on the line, " Nice little trout, 

By-and-by the boy opened his mind, and gradually was wheedled 
into telling me that the native fishermen of the poorer class hold 
potted samlet to be a toothsome dish, as in truth it is. No doubt 
the people habitually kill the samlet, and they adopt other destructive 
methods for obtaining fish that should be stopped. They wire the 
trout, net them, and pursue an extensive system of tickling. Worm- 
fishing probably cannot be prohibited, and as there are two or three 
old men who get a living by the sale of trout, perhaps this method 
may be overlooked. But I never saw a river where the holes and 
deep runs, when it is low, were more favourable to worm-fishing. 
After a while, in consequence, I gave up seeking trout in the precise 
spots where good ones would lie \ it was plain that the worm would 
be used in them by the knowing natives, and the fish being not " on 
the move," the place of the captured veteran would not be quickly 
taken again by that other veteran that is always supposed to be 
ready to possess it. This is to be deplored, for all the streams 
thereabouts are the perfection of trout water, and not to be despised 
as haunts of the salmon. The evil is stated to be diminishing, but 
the conservators should know that the open rivers still require looking 
after. The fee of a shilling for a trout and charr licence will not be 
a restraint. I had the gratification myself of destroying two night 
lines, in pursuance of the principle that, while the angler need not be 
a spy, he should always be an amateur keeper. 

In the sitting-room of the " Goat," returning in the gloaming, I 
found a corner table strewed with a rod-bag, spare tops, and other 
evidences of a newly-arrived companion. He soon came back with 
two or three trout. We smiled at each other. 

" Fidd paragraph ? " I asked laconically. 

" Yes," he replied. 

The young gentleman had taken the bait as I had. There were 
four of us now abroad on the faith of a paragraph. Right glad had I 
reason to be, however, that the new-comer had done so, for the 
accident gave me a delightful companion. He was an Oxford under- 
graduate, recovering from illness, desiring a quiet corner for repose, 
and a handy stream for his favourite recreation. The pure air and 
wholesome fare did him a world of good, and though, wading being 
impossible for him, he was at a discount with the trout, he agreed 
with me that the scenery made ample amends, and was satisfied. 

88 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

There are several streams and brooks within a few miles of 
Llanfair, and the landlord of the " Goat," himself a sportsman, will be 
the angler's adviser-in-chief. Flies may be procured from local 
makers, and there is an iron-blue dun which should never be left off 
the cast in the spring. Nor, indeed, should the March brown be 
ever forgotten. A second day's hard work gave me ten brace and a 
half of trout, the largest of which should have plumped the scales 
at three-quarters of a pound, yet he was only half a pound, and a 
consumptive-looking creature at that. The day was, for a wonder, 
favourable, warm, showery, and dull, and the fish were mostly picked 
out from the broader portions of the river, where the stream was from 
one to two feet deep, and flowing with even undulations. The wind 
enabled one to wade stealthily up in the middle and cast straight 
ahead with a comparatively short line ; and a very artistic fashion 
this is, if the angler can keep it up. By three o'clock in the afternoon 
the position became all at once untenable, owing to a change of 
wind from the cold quarter, and for the rest of the week similar good 
luck did not return. Still, I did in five days contrive to kill twenty-five 
brace and a half of sizeable trout, and leave more or less of a mark 
upon innumerable samlets daily. 

The slaying of thirteen chub one morning with a March brown 
afforded me as much sport as gratification. The big-headed chevin 
is as objectionable in a trout stream as any of the coarser fish that 
prey upon their kind, and no consideration of time or season 
should stay the fisherman's hand. Then, too, the sport was so totally 
unexpected. I had driven over to the river at Pont Robert, and had 
carefully fished up stream without touching a trout. Above a 
primitive weir there stretched perhaps a quarter of a mile of wood 
overhanging the water, which swept, by a gentle curve, under a high 
bank, and was in places unusually deep and broad. Making a stand in 
the middle of the river, the fly was despatched on a trial trip of little 
short of fifteen yards, over an eddy where, if anywhere, it seemed that 
there would be a trout poising. Something by-and-by came with a 
rush, but more suggestive of a small pike or large dace than trout 

On feeling the fish, I knew exactly what its breed was : chub 
for a ducat It proved to be, in fact, a chub of about a pound weight ; 
and, of course, not far from the spot from which it had been enticed, 
there would be others of the same sort. By keeping quiet and never 
losing a fish ; by getting your captive away from the general convoca- 
tion without floundering on the surface ; by avoiding the fatal mistake 
of pricking a short-rising fish ; and by never so much as moving a leg 
as you stand with the stream meandering softly by your knees — you are 

° '[digitized by OOOgTe 

Spring Trouting* 89 

almost certain, with chub on the feed, to catch on till there is nothing 
left to catch. Following those mental directions, I was kept in good 
temper for an hour and a quarter, proceeding leisurely, allowing a 
decent interval between the takes, and making never a false cast 
Then the trout-basket was full to the cover, and the burden heavy 
to bear. 

It was at last necessary to wade ashore, deposit the chub on the 
grass, and begin again. So, for form's sake, catching one more — a good 
two-pounder, and the largest of the set — and taking him as he lay in 
the landing-net to the bank, I heaped up the victims and returned 
to experience, as in truth I feared, that the fun was at an end. Either 
I had depopulated the haunt, or had frightened the remnant into a 
deep unapproachable hole, fifty yards below. The chub, ranging 
between three-quarters of a pound and two pounds, looked handsome 
enough lying in a bed of daffodils in the meadow, but being out of 
condition, they speedily lost their firmness and colour. The most 
singular feature of this unlooked-for amusement was its ending. A 
farmer — a farmer, be it remembered, living in a district where trout 
were abundant — begged for a brace of chub, on the plea that he had 
not enjoyed the luxury of a fish dinner for a weary while ; and as a man 
who can eat chub ought to be encouraged, I relieved my conscience 
by warning him that they were scarcely in the primest order for the 
table, and bade him accept the lot. This he did, rejoicing and thankful, 
and in the afternoon, at a clean little inn higher up, I heard that he 
had been magnifying my good qualities, and presenting the smaller 
fish to his favourite neighbours with open-handed liberality. 

On this day my undergraduate friend had with me chartered a 
dog-cart, and tried lower down the river with the phantom minnow, 
but with indifferent success. But he had been run after by several 
pike, and on our way we had seen one of the most entrancing of 
valleys in a land where the valley scenery is second to none in the 
British Empire. Scotland and Ireland give mountain and river 
scenery grander and oftener, but Wales surpasses both in its soft 
unbroken valleys. The valley of to-day was never more than a 
couple of miles wide, but it wound charmingly between the moun- 
tains, was level and green, and dotted here and there with cottages 
overhung with trees, where surely nought but peace ever reigned ; and 
it stretched westward until it became narrowed by distance into a faint 
dreamy passage through the misty hills. 

The young gentleman who had sought his fortune nearer the 
coast kindly redeemed his promise of informing me, when our excur- 
sions were over, how he and his friend had fared. I had asked him 

Digitized by VjOOQ LC 

90 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

to do so out of curiosity to know how far the paragraph in the Field, 
which had brought him out of London into Wales, had justified the 
faith he had reposed in it For myself I was quite content, but this 
is his report, which I take leave to re-report as a pendant to my own 
experiences of the faith of a paragraph. 

In our three days we got seventy-five trout — that is, we took home seventy- 
five, some we returned — to three rods, but my young friend did not contribute 
very largely to our bag. Artog is a very pretty place, and commands a fine view 
of the sea, Barmouth, and the hills. There is plenty of fishing to be had in 
streams, &c, near the place, but we only fished in two lakes, the right of 
fishing in which belongs to the landlord of our hotel. They are fished by means 
of boats, which are rowed up to the windward side of the lakes and allowed to 
drift slowly to leeward. The fish we caught were small, but very game ; nothing 
above half a pound, but they told me the bigger fish had not yet risen to the sur- 
face. Like yourself, we experienced very indifferent weather. 

A badger is not perhaps the kind of fry the reader would look 
for in an article on Spring Trout Fishing, but the writer on angling is 
always permitted a large amount of license in the matter of gossip ; 
and as I have a badger on hand, perhaps I may have the privilege of 
dragging him into these pages head and shoulders. The landlord of 
our hotel had, on one very cold morning, correctly prophesied that 
the fish would not rise, and had invited us, as the next best thing to 
do, to accompany him and assist in unearthing a badger. If I had 
little hope of killing trout, I was absolutely incredulous as to the 
badger. But at night we were taken to the malthouse, and there, in 
the bottom of a big dry barrel, lay, very out of heart and even sullen, 
one of the finest badgers I had ever seen, with a pretty baby badger 
nestling against her, in a state of high bewilderment The un- 
earthing had been effected after four hours of desperate work with 
pick and shoveL This fact may be interesting to those who have 
been taught that the badger is an almost extinct animal. 


Digitized by 




THERE are a dozen different ways of trying to estimate the 
exhibitions of the year. There is the laborious and detailed 
valuation of a thousand individual paintings. There is the judgment 
that is pronounced on the mass rather than on the separate pictures. 
There is the careful comparison between this year's shows and those 
of the last season. There is the endeavour to detect the tendencies 
of the day by reference to the work chiefly of our younger men. 
But in the present rapid and necessary superficial piece of writing, 
it is with a more modest effort that I shall be content Leaving 
inevitably aside much admirable work of famous people, and, among 
" rising artists," not essaying to include one in three of those who 
might have some claim to remark, I shall yet, with little regard to 
u tendencies " in art, draw attention to certain pictures that remain 
in the mind as somehow pressing for notice. Some of them have 
already received it, very much, and others have been considerably 
ignored. " Rising artists " will have to be used as a tolerably elastic 
term. It is not, however, generally held to denote those who have 
displayed only the very beginning of promise. One " rising " in his 
profession is one who is already fairly on his way. Sometimes he 
may even be not only esteemed, but celebrated. The term may be 
elastic even if it is not intended to include either on the one hand 
the high-priests of Art, or, on the other, the strangers who have 
but strayed into a temple whose manner of service they do not 

Men of the rank of which I speak are naturally to be found abund- 
antly in the Royal Academy; their work generally, however, a little 
shunted by the more admitted claims of Academical brethren, or, it 
may be, lost in the crowd of the honoured and the unhonoured, the 
excellent and the mediocre. Indeed, it is in the Academy that, in spite 
of all disadvantages, one has chiefly to meet them. But they appear at 
the Grosvenor Gallery, and this year, owing to the enforced absence of 
Mr. Burne Jones, much room has been made for them, and places of 
privilege have been assigned to one or two of their number. Theyappear 
likewise at the two Water-Colour Societies— at the old "Society" and 

92 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

at the Exhibition of the Institute. Here they will probably be found 
to be new or recent members. 

Mr. Gregory puts in an appearance both at the Grosvenor and at 
the Institute, and in each case the appearance is an incontestable 
success. If he is not quite in his first youth, he may certainly be 
reckoned among rising men. His advance this present year has been 
particularly marked, and he has perhaps hardly been before the public 
long enough to be celebrated — celebrity even in that wherein it is 
achieved more swiftly than in Medicine, or Law, or Literature, is yet 
rarely won with extreme rapidity, save through the aid of qualities 
that are more eccentric than sterling. Along the line of portraiture 
and in the line of genre-painting Mr. Gregory has pushed his way. 
To the Institute he sends his admirable water-colour, Last 
Touches. This is a picture of comedy, unrestrained by refinement 
of conception ; fearless in its presentation of every fact that the 
painter has seen ; thoroughly realistic, yet with a realism generally 
artistic. The scene is a rich studio. The easel, with its creaking 
mechanism, is big and hard in the foreground. Just behind it, tilting 
back in his arm-cliair, and with all that is commonplace and all that 
is awkward in his big legs and loud trousers accurately and elabo- 
rately painted, is the artist whose " last touches " form the theme of 
the work. These last touches dissatisfy him very much. His face, 
over which the weariness of middle age is stealing, bears on it now 
at the moment the more poignant weariness of a task over-laboured. 
He is profoundly bored with something considerably short of a suc- 
cess. Far in the rear of him — with her back to the blazing studio fire, 
and screening herself by hands behind her holding a great fan — 
stands, beautiful but pert, a well-made, small-boned damsel, lithe and 
thin, awaiting, with much of shrewdness and something of patience, 
the completion of the labour. Approving of herself very much, she has 
yet a little approval to spare for the picture that represents so many 
hours of effort on the part of her friend. Mr. Gregory's people are not 
exactly pleasant, but they have the interest of individuality and of 
awakened intelligence, and his work is an exceptional and admirable 
instance of accurate draughtsmanship and of decisive painting. It 
is carried out to the end in the fashion in which it was conceived. A 
piece of keen observation ; displaying no sense of serene or exalted 
beauty ; demanding no high sentiment, no chastened imagination. 

You feel that the wonderful portrait of Miss Galloway y at the 
Grosvenor, may well be by the same painter. It speaks equally of 
honest intention, and of brilliant vigour of hand. This is a young 
woman in the flush of health and the radiance of becoming 

Digitized by 

Rising Artists. 93 

Miss Galloway at a party, or Miss Galloway at the theatre — the 
plump wrists encased in the white gloves of ceremony ; the fluttering 
of pale blue feathers in a fan held high against her head ; the small 
grey eyes cool and watching ; each turn of the flexible figure felt under 
the white satin gown. Perhaps the most noteworthy matter in this 
picture, beyond the mere dexterity of its painting, is the absolute ease 
and naturalness of expression and posture. Here, again, Mr. Gregory 
has been able to do completely all that he designed to do. Such 
work can only be qualified by one commonplace word — " masterly." 
Conceivably, it might have aimed to be more ; but it could not have 
become more thoroughly that which it aimed to be. 

But in at least one portrait, Mr. John Collier presses hard on 
Mr. Gregory's success. His Lady Lawrence, at the Grosvenor, is 
among the great portraits of the year, and it is so in part by its 
quiet possession of a refinement which is often the most engaging 
side of strength. Mr. Collier, both as regards pure draughtsmanship 
and as regards brush-work, is one of the best-trained and best- 
equipped of our younger artists. It seems that all advantages have 
been his, and it seems also that he has known how to use them. 
Studying in Munich and then studying in Paris, he gave fair signs of 
advance, and he afterwards had the benefit of continuously watching 
one of the most dexterous of living craftsmen engaged in the exercise 
of his craft Mr. Collier's Daughter of Eve, at the Grosvenor — the 
lightly draped girl straining downwards to gather a desired fruit — 
shows Mr. Alma Tadema's influence ; but, in a subject that might 
have been Mr. Tadema's own, Mr. Collier has retained his in- 
dividuality. With him the character is more than the accessory — 
the life more than the raiment. In the Lady Lawrence it is the 
character—the tranquil grace of carriage with which character has 
so much to do — trjfit dominates altogether; yet the painting of 
accessory, of tasteful dress, of pearl and lace and grey plum-coloured 
silk, has not been neglected. The picture is in a light key: very 
silvery, gladsome, and cool — to look at it is like looking at a cascade 
in summer. In his important figure-piece, at the Academy, which has 
been bought under the terms of the Chantrey bequest, Mr. Collier has 
been face to face with a more difficult task, and one that the tasteful 
appreciation and executive skill that sufficed for Lady Lawrence 
could hardly alone conduct to a satisfactory end. Imagination and 
dramatic insight were wanted for the due realisation of the Last 
Voyage of Henry Hudson and his pathetic circumstances ; but the 
very choice of the theme gave proof of the possession of at least 
some measure of the gifts required to treat it. And though the 

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94 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

canvas may show certain deficiencies which a perfect maturity of 
talent would no longer display, it is the impressive qualities which 
engage us the most Dramatically, with a manly pathos, with no 
maudlin "sentiment, Mr. Collier has told us the terrible story of the 
sailor's final voyage, when the crew mutinied, and the old man was 
set adrift with mariners who were infirm, and a son who was a child. 

Mr. Britten and Mr. Weguelin deserve to be mentioned together. 
Both exhibit at the Grosvenor. Neither is in any sense complete as 
an artist, yet both have reached a point at which promise has passed 
into achievement In a great decorative picture, fitted by its lightness 
and its fire rather for the salon of a restaurant in vogue than for a 
judgment hall or a council chamber, Mr. Britten has boldly tackled 
a luxurious yet spirited theme, The Flight of Helen from Sparta, with 
Paris — the disturbing beauty lying back wildly in a rough country 
cart which, dragged by plunging horses, bears her to the sea and to 
her lover's galley — Venus cheering her on* The merit of the picture 
is in its energy and "go." In its incompleteness it is at least 
unconventional, and in its force it is refreshing. Allegory has no 
place in Mr. Weguelin's canvas ; no Venus need smile approval of 
the feat that is there recorded. A Roman Acrobat — a strapping 
girl making her perilpus way along the tight-rope, and watched by 
wondering eyes as the arms balance each other and the bare feet 
press and squeeze round the narrow cord — is a subject that most of 
the few painters fitted to deal with it at all would have been tempted 
to make too carefully antiquarian. A painful realisation of the 
furniture of antiquity — a small truth to a small matter — would have 
left little room for the greater truths of character and the higher 
interests of beauty and action. From this permanent error — which 
yet would have ensured that passing popularity which waits on the 
adroit display of mere learning and craftsmanship — Mr. Weguelin is 
freed. One's first thought is not of the artist, of his fund of anti- 
quarian knowledge and his laborious battle with technical difficulty. 
One takes, instead, a frank and simple pleasure in the picture. 
It is of excellent draughtsmanship and expressive action — at once 
imaginative and reaL Mr. Weguelin is hardly shown by it to be a 
skilled colourist, but he is a vivid painter of open-air light, in which 
it may be that colours strike one as less subtle. Mr. Weguelin's 
work depends less, however, upon any single highly developed 
gift of technical skill than upon a union of many gifts which are 
considerable already, and will improve by and by. 

At the Royal Academy, notice is rightly taken of the large 
marine pieces of Mr. Walter Shaw, whose first studies of green seas 

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Rising Artists. 95 

were contributed, I think, to Suffolk Street. Of the two companion 
pictures at Burlington House — hung pleasantly as a pair, and thus 
securing an attention that might otherwise have been missed — the 
one described as A Comber is surely the finer. Mr. Shaw is a 
painter of the sea alone, and a painter of the sea alone must paint it 
well, or paint it strikingly, for it to win any attention at all. More- 
over, while Mr. Shaw's theme may conceivably be unattractive, it is 
bound to be difficult For he is a painter of the sea in action, more 
than in rest— that is, he is a painter of movement as well as of colour 
and line. At present there is more of force than of subtlety in his 
work ; there is some simplicity in his aims as well as in his means. 
Has he learnt already that in Art of every kind much must be 
voluntarily abandoned if anything is to be won ? And is his com- 
paratively triumphant treatment of themes which are difficult, but 
which are yet less difficult than ambition might make them, due in 
part to a deliberate avoidance of superfluous intricacy ? Is the prac- 
tice based on a theory ? 

Mr. Leslie Thomson is a landscape painter to whom the Academy 
this year has failed to do justice, and the failure is the more regrettable 
because there is nothing in Mr. Leslie Thomson's work which courts 
the general notice. In his pictures no immediate attractiveness of 
theme nor impressiveness of treatment comes to win away attention 
from his neighbours' canvasses : the quietude and restraint of his own 
work are a part of its excellence or of its promise. If a Brickfield, Nor- 
folk, and A Grey Day were both hung where they could well be seen, 
the people who have formed a high opinion of Mr. Thomson's ability 
would not need to justify that opinion chiefly by a reference to last 
year's show. A steady observer of our English landscape as it is, 
and not as our poets would have it to be — a painter impressed with 
the necessity of a liberal compromise between the claims of formal 
beauty and the claims of truth — Mr. Thomson has probably before 
him some not undistinguished future. He is not alone in the will to 
address himself to prosaic subjects. Many violent realists in England 
and France have shared this disposition and have displayed it more 
conspicuously than he has done. But there are not many of our 
painters who approach so delicately, and yet so fearlessly, a landscape 
defaced by industry which is not of the soil — a Nature half a prey 
already to that invasion of modern mechanics with which artists, 
whether they like it or not, have presently to count. 

I wish one could think of Mr. Blair Leighton, a painter of figures 
in interiors, and of Mr. Logsdail, a painter of figures in out-of-door 
Jight, that which is perhaps the most charming thing of all to be able 

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96 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

to think of the workers of any art — that they give us a new impres- 
sion, that they tell us something which we did not know before. 
I do not know that any very special individuality — other than that 
individuality of colour which is rarely wanting in the work of a man 
who can be a colourist at all— belongs to either artist But neither 
is visibly imitative of any one master, and both contribute to this 
year's Academy pictures we would not willingly miss. Mr. Logsdail's 
most considerable canvas is that which he calls by the name of the 
building he has represented, St. Anne's Almshouses, Antwerp. The 
grey-and-purple-coloured buildings close round the almshouse square, 
each detail of stone and angle and window seen clearly in the sharp 
cool sunlight of the north. It is steady and faithful, if not precisely 
fascinating, work. It is topography become artistic — subdued to the 
conditions of painting which may demand the picturesque — but it is 
not the architecture of a city absorbed and transfigured in the imagi- 
nation of an artist to whom everything must be personal, and by 
whom, in a high sense, everything must be peculiar. Mr. Blair 
Leighton, by his Gossip and his Gage d* Amour — both at the 
Academy — shows fair capacity to tell a story not very moving, not 
very passionate, and not exceptionally funny ; but he shows a higher 
capacity in the more limited business of painting. His colour and 
draughtsmanship, his disposition of light and of shade, are all praise- 
worthy, and in one work at least he has pushed a careful skill in the 
imitation of texture, in the realisation of light, to a point beyond which 
it is hardly reasonable to ask that it shall go. 

Mr. Van Haanen is a painter who until last season was almost 
unknown in England, and who is by no means a veteran in years, 
though he may chance to be a veteran in his particular practice, and 
among the yet younger men who knew him in Venice as a master. 
His picture of The Pearl- Stringers— the fully realised interior of a 
Venetian workroom, with its crowd of light girls, and its heavy 
woman, indulgent to their chatter and presiding over their toil — took 
the town by storm last season. It revealed to all of us an artist fully 
equipped, and observing life for himself, and in strange places, and 
amusing us by the perfection of his familiarity with that which is 
known to so few. For it is one thing to paint the mere features of a 
foreign town, and another to paint its intimate existence — its common 
people, not for their costume, but for their character, for that mixed 
comedy of humour and pathos which is rarely found on the surface, 
but which generally lies at the bottom. Venice has been seen and 
felt by Mr. Van Haanen as it is seen and felt by no superficial 
visitor. A draughtsman, a colourist, an observer of the world, an 

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Rising Artists. 97 

observer of comedy, Mr. Van Haanen is able to transcribe quite 
completely whatever passages of Venetian life impress him the most. 
This year, with a less popular, a less striking subject than that of 
The Pearl-Stringers, the painter has produced a picture not less 
excellent in all that is essential. Two lithe and buxom girls stand 
on the steps of a Venetian doorway, and the steps descend to the 
waters of a side canal in which certain clothes — no very great bundle 
of them, though the picture is called The Washerwomen — are about 
to be washed. And the girls are preparing for the work. One leans 
to the water already, her gold-red head bent low against the sober 
but glorious blue of her skirt ; the other, with something of the im- 
pudent consciousness of charm, energetically turns up her sleeves to 
free them as high as may be on her long muscular arms. And then 
to work also ! The passage behind the figures is deeply shadowed ; 
below them the blue-green water sluggishly laps the steps and the 
house-front Though the picture may not strike at once, it impresses 
lastingly, and it does this by its excellence at all points, by its 
perfect attainment of all that it has aimed to record. Mr. Van 
Haanen knows Venice as Mr. Burgess knows Spain. Both artists 
are colourists, as men must be if they would deal with the lights 
and hues of the South ; both men have sense of humour and of 
character; both are capable of telling a story. But while Mr. 
Burgess generally insists upon having some story to tell — some 
anecdote, it may be, of juvenile precocity or priestly fun — Mr. Van 
Haanen is content to possess the capacity, and is not always bent 
upon exercising it His genre-painting deals less with effective 
incidents ; more with the common current of everyday pursuits. 
When those pursuits have for the mass of picture- seers the fascination 
of novelty, his canvas — The Pearl-Stringers of last year, for instance 
— may catch the popularity of Mr. Burgess's Juvenile Prodigy. 
But this year, wide popularity eludes the admirable picture of T/ie 
Washerwomen. Do we trace the influence of Mr. Van Haanen in 
the works of Mr. Woods, a young English artist familiar with the 
same scenes, and treating them with very notable skill ? He has 
two pictures in the Royal Academy, and in both the charm of 
Venetian light and colour is successfully conveyed. In one it is 
associated with the common aspects of a Venetian crowd — a cos- 
mopolitan gathering of tourist and fruit-seller, gondolier and grisette — 
by the steps of the Rialto. In the other it is accompanied by a 
more detailed study of one or two persons and their particular 
fortunes. It is The Gondolier's Courtship—quite the pleasantest 
occupation, it seems, for the gondolier's afternoon of leisure — and 
With a quiet truth to nature, a delicate reticent humour, worthy 
vol. ecu. no. 1807. h 

98 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

almost of the best of the seventeenth-century Dutchmen, the 
incident is painted. So much for Mr. Woods and for Mr. Van 
Haanen. Nor are theirs the only works in the Academy which reveal 
the new sources of interest that Venice holds for the artist, even 
when its skies and its architecture, its waters and its craft, have been 
painted by Turner and James Holland, by Ziem and Miss Montalba. 
One of the very cleverest genre pictures in the Academy is sent 
by Mr. Hindley; and here again the neatness and veracity, the 
twinkling humour, and the absence of exaggeration, with which the 
incident is presented, recall the spirit of the better Dutchmen, of 
those who were the least gross, of those who most relied on the 
faithful unforced expression of character with humour. Cruel only 
to be Kind shows us an old-world interior, with large hearth darkly 
shadowed, and with ancient furniture, and with tapestried wall. A 
soldier in playful mood has taken up a child's doll on the point of 
his sword, and there is the doll held aloft and now impaled. A 
quiet approving old woman, a very little surprised and tranquilly 
amused at the warrior's jest, stands by the fire, and the small child, 
whose inanimate companion is the subject of this atrocious outrage, 
plants herself in the middle of the floor, powerless and amazed, 
howling in a comic agony. The expression of each of the dramatis 
persona is of exact and curious truth — the high-spirited soldier who 
thinks he is going to be amusing, the quiet silly gentlewoman, and 
the perturbed child whose trouble is noticed by none. It is all 
accurately imagined and admirably realised. 

Then, again, there is another genre picture which is bound to 
be noticed, whatever else may be omitted, and that is Mr. Theodore 
Ralli's Marionettes in the Harem. It is easy to assert that something 
of the success of this work is due to the choice of a subject that has 
the interest of novelty ; but there would be small encouragement to 
our painters to be on the watch for freshness of theme if, when fresh- 
ness of theme was discovered, there was credited to it all the merit 
of their labour. The truth is that often a novel subject demands an 
even more than average treatment to justify it in our eyes. We are 
singularly apt to be satisfied again with that which has satisfied us 
once. This picture of Mr. Ralli's pleases because it is so perfectly 
done, and by no means only because it is so novel. First, there 
is the darkened daylight of the Oriental palace ; the cool quietude 
of the place, in which trifles wax exciting; then the indolent on- 
lookers, the pretty girl who manages the marionettes and crouches 
bare-shouldered on the floor, absorbed in the control of them. And 
all the truth to human expression is equalled, not excelled, by the 

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Rising Artists. 99 

painting of accessories. The wonderful inlaid box, with the light 
gleam of mother-of-pearl, — that is painted about as admirably as the 
fair bared flesh and as the vivacious action of the manageress of the 

Here then, in the department of painting — and exclusively in 
painting in oil — we have considered, shortly and superficially, the 
work of a dozen men, some of them celebrated, some of them 
hitherto unrecognised, but all of them promising good things and 
doing good things already for the honour of Art in. England. A 
visit to the rooms of the Old Water-Colour Society and to those of 
the Institute would show that both these companies of painters are 
drawing some fresh and worthy recruits. The Institute is the stronger 
in its younger men, especially in its figure-painters ; but Mr. T. Collier, 
Mr. Charles Green, Mr. Towneley Green, Mr. Carter, Mr. Clausen, 
and Mr. Fulleylove have already been long enough before the 
cultivated public that appreciates them to render it unnecessary to 
treat of them here ; and — a selfish reason, which the " gentlest " of 
readers will appreciate — I want some day, when there is time, to 
speak of them in their special connection with the progress of 
English water colour. At the Old Society, Mr. Pilsbury is the latest 
sensation. He adds something of his own to a Birket-Foster-like 
treatment of Dewint-like themes. One welcomes fresh elections to 
these water-colour societies, whenever they are wise at all, because a 
fresh election seems to say — though it sometimes says untruly— that 
here are men planning to give their lives to painting in the exquisite 
medium which is so peculiarly English. Too many painters have 
lately been tempted by big prices and by the higher estimation con- 
ventionally bestowed upon oil-painting to abandon the delicate 
medium of their original choice. It may be hoped that, when the 
Institute of Water-Colour Painters establishes itself in Piccadilly, 
and has an open exhibition and perhaps a Royal charter, the be- 
stowal of outward honours upon this branch of Art will prevent the 
defection of wavering members and encourage a warm devotion in 
those who have yet to begin. 

As it is, nothing strikes the outsider more ludicrously, when he 
thinks of the two Societies, than the manner and heat of their 
rivalry. It seems that what the one Society has done, the other 
must, as promptly as may be, do. The artistic talents of the Royal 
family are fairly divided between them. If our Princess Royal 
belongs tp the one, our Princess Louise belongs to the other. In 
that there is no great matter of surprise, though the two princesses 
must be far too genuinely artistic not to know that if a Society of 

h 2 

ioo The Gentleman's Magazine. 

painters in water-colours were profoundly strong in personal achieve- 
ment as well as in tradition, there would be something a little 
childish in undue eagerness to claim Royal members. The 
princesess, however, can give the grace of their patronage — and the 
princesses can paint. The rivalry of the two Societies is not confined 
to a struggle for the possession of these Royal ladies. 

Turning from water-colour painting to the art of sculpture, we 
are met by the assertion, made by the generally competent, that the 
interest in sculpture is increasing, and that there is an accession of 
life and of individuality in the work produced. To some extent the 
wish is father to the thought— the thought will probably be more un- 
questionably true when the new encouragement offered to sculpture 
by the Royal Academy itself shall have had time to bear fruit 
But that there is some slight revival of interest, some fresh display 
of ability, no one can doubt; though the condition and the history 
of English sculpture contrast very curiously with the history and 
condition of sculpture in France, where for about a couple of 
centuries there has been an unbroken succession of masters and of 
schools. Mr. Hamo Thornycroft's Teucer is the piece most talked 
about at the Academy — its display is contemporaneous with the 
young artist's election to the Associateship. Teucer has great virtues 
— Academical virtues, but still precious ones — of reticence and 
restraint Type and manner are all classical — the slim figure still 
braced for the action that has just been fulfilled. The appeal of this 
art is to the learned. Towards popularity it hardly makes even a 
legitimate claim. Such a claim is made to the full, however, by 
Mr. Brock's A Moment of Peril Mr. Mullins's work, both at the 
Academy and at the Grosvenor, is that of a refined student and a 
fresh observer. But in neither exhibition is he seen at his best In 
a delightful group displayed a while ago at the Dudley Gallery, and, 
yet better, in a beautiful panel illustrative of the sentiment of Z' 'Allegro 
(visible for a time at Mr. Agnew's before it went onward to its 
destination in an English country house), it was made clear that Mr. 
Mullins is a young artist who must be ranked high in any estimate 
of the revival of the art of the modeller in these latter days. 


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ENGLAND finds herself at the present moment in a somewhat 
singular, if not altogether unparalleled, position — that of 
endeavouring to repair a national mistake, of acknowledging and 
retiring from a position wrongfully seized, by restoring the Transvaal 
to the Boers. Hitherto it has been a generally received rule amongst 
us that voluntary retreat on our part is impossible, and that, right or 
wrong, we must stand by our own actions. All over the world has 
the evil of this doctrine of ours been exemplified, and nowhere more 
markedly so than in South Africa, where it has again and again 
enabled individual governors to inaugurate a line of policy which, 
however gravely it might be objected to by the authorities at home, 
and the English people generally, has been upheld, and the wrongs 
committed perpetuated, on the ground that to reverse an action 
already taken in the name of England, and thereby virtually to 
censure her representatives in the colonies, would injure our prestige 
there. Our rulers in the mother country have hitherto appeared 
blind to the fact that England's honour has been infinitely more 
injured by injustice and falsehood perpetrated in her name than 
it could be by any frank avowal of mistakes, and attempt to repair 

No greater error exists concerning the natives of South Africa 
than the very common notion that fear is the only motive they 
can understand, that they must be ruled by it, and that they are 
ready to put down any indulgence on our part to weakness. On 
the contrary, they have a keen sense of justice, and the respect 
which they have always felt for England, although it has been 
sadly injured by our behaviour towards them during the last few 
years, very considerably depended on their belief in her truth and 

But the last ten years have been fruitful in instances of the 
mischief that may be done by the unreasoning tenacity alluded to 
above. A series of wrongs have been committed by the authorities 
abroad, admitted and regretted by those at home, censured by a 
large proportion of the English people, but never redressed, because 

° r r * V Y igitized by 0( 

102 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

it has been against our principles to step back. In 1873 tne chief 
Langalibalele, with his tribe, were ruined, and the latter dispersed, 
while the chief himself remained a prisoner in our hands. The 
accusations against him proved afterwards to be so groundless as 
to evoke the strongest condemnation of the whole affair from the 
then Secretary of State, Lord Carnarvon, who informed his 
subordinates in Natal that, even had the charges brought against 
Langalibalele and his tribe been true, the punishment meted out 
to them would have been far beyond their deserts; but that, as it was, 
after the utmost explanation and fullest possible statement of their 
case, the said officials had failed to produce anything like proof of 
there having been any grounds for the suspicions on which they had 
acted in so hasty and tyrannical a fashion. Nevertheless, on the 
supposition that an official mistake, once committed, is irrevocable, 
he did not command the release of the chief and restitution of the 
tribe, but merely recommended that all possible alleviation of the 
sufferings so unjustly inflicted should be attempted — of which 
recommendation not the smallest notice was ever taken by anyone 

He did, however, order the liberation of another smaller tribe, 
that of Putini, which had been "eaten up," to use their own 
expressive phrase, by our forces, for no particular reason except 
that they happened to be in the way. But the injustice in this 
case had been so glaringly apparent that the Natal Government 
itself had been obliged to acknowledge it as a mistake ; and the 
restoration of the Putini people had, in point of fact, already been 
effected by the determined efforts of a just man, the late Colonel 
Durnford, R.E., to whose influence the Natal Government officials 
owed the only action in the whole affair which reflected the slightest 
credit upon them. Lord Carnarvon's order (including the restitution 
of the property of which the Putini people had been stripped — which 
command, indeed, has never been obeyed to this day, except in the 
most partial and niggardly fashion) showed something of the spirit 
in which our present Government is acting : but it stopped short of 
doing full justice ; for the larger tribe despoiled were as innocent as 
their neighbours, yet nothing has ever been done for them, while the 
poor harmless old man, their chief, still languishes in miserable 
captivity, and his tribe is still dispersed and homeless. 

Again, in 1879, we attacked the Zulus, and took their king 

Cetshwayo prisoner on grounds which have vanished into thin air 

— ~* thorough investigation. Not a single one of Sir Bartle Frere's 

tions against the Zulu King but has been turned inside out, 

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The Transvaal Question. 103 

and shown to have had no foundation in fact ; and although Sir Bartle 
and his supporters have a habit of repeating their statements from 
time to time, entirely ignoring the apparently unimportant circum- 
stances that they have been, not merely denied, but completely 
disproved, that does not alter the facts of the case, though unhappily 
it misleads many readers who have not happened to see the complete 
refutations which have been published. 

Between these two dates England was led into another mistake, 
that of annexing the Transvaal, which is the point under present con- 

It is useless now to point out how we might have done that same 
thing justly and righteously, and in defence of a subject race. At the 
time we did not profess such a motive, and were even anxious to disclaim 
it, since any such profession would have tied our hands inconveniently. 
Native interests would have to be sacrificed if the Boers were to be 
pacified, and any qualms of uneasy conscience were allayed by the 
comfortable consideration that eventually British rule must be for the 
good of both black and white. Had we made any such professions, 
our conduct towards the natives since would sufficiently have proved 
their emptiness. We might, indeed, have taken possession of the 
country of the Boers to force them to keep their side of the Sand- 
River Convention, to put an end to the cruel war which they were 
waging against Sikukuni's tribe, and to prevent their endangering the 
peace of South Africa by their continual encroachments upon Zulu 
territory, and acts of violence towards the rightful dwellers in it If 
such action of ours had resulted in war with the Boers — which was not 
at all likely while the balancing power of the Zulus existed — we should 
at least have had the approval and sympathy of Europe instead of its 
almost universal reprobation. But then we should have had to act up 
to our professions. We should have had to make an easy peace with 
Sikukuni without further bloodshed, and we should have had to do 
justice to the Zulus by giving up to them, at once and uncondi- 
tionally, the long-disputed country of which the Boers had taken 
possession, but which our English Commissioners, after careful and 
honest inquiry, decided to be rightly and wholly belonging to the 
Zulus. There would have been no need to spend one single life in 
fighting either Zulu or Basuto, and had we been forced to go to war 
with the Transvaal, it would have been a just and honourable war — 
and the only one in South Africa. The fact remains, however, that we 
expressed and acted upon an entirely different set of motives, and that, 
had not the Government at home been misled as to the wishes and con- 
dition of the Boers, the annexation would never have been attempted 

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104 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Her Majesty's permission to Sir Theophilus Shepstone to annex 
the country rested expressly on the condition that the majority of 
the inhabitants should desire it At the time it was made to appear 
that such was the case, but since then it has been amply proved that 
it can never have been so. A noble lord in the House lately 
argued that the coloured inhabitants of the Transvaal are as much 
part of the population as the Boers, and that their votes would 
heavily turn the scale in favour of British rule. That is probably 
true, and the principle is a good one ; but as it happens that the 
natives were not considered, and were certainly not consulted in 
the matter in the remotest degree, it is an argument of which we 
have not the slightest right to avail ourselves, any more than that 
we interfered to protect the tribes whom we afterwards crushed at 
our leisure. 

We annexed the Transvaal wrongfully, and, now that the matter 
is thoroughly understood, the country is to be restored to the Boers, 
while the only grounds on which the righteousness of such restoration 
can be doubted is that, since the annexation, we have wrongfully 
crushed and disabled two native races upon the borders of the 
Transvaal, whom we have no right to abandon to the mercy of the 
Boers, and whom yet we shall find it difficult and costly to protect 
in any serviceable sense of the word. Nominal protection and 
security on paper we can give, of course, as we have ever since the 
Sand- River Convention, which has never prevented the practice of 
what was a most brutal slavery in all but name. 

There is no denying that strict justice to the Boers required that 
we should give them back their independence, that is to say, self- 
government and the management of their own affairs, though not of 
the lives and liberties of other races ; and, although it is deeply to 
be deplored that the action was not taken six months sooner, before 
the late lamentable defeats, so that the lives of our brave soldiers 
should not have been needlessly sacrificed, nor the glory of our army 
dimmed, yet the defeat in itself does not alter the justice or injustice 
of the cause. 

But we must not stop here in our work of restitution, doing 
justice to the Boers only. If we have wronged them, we have 
doubly wronged the Zulus ; and if the error of the late Government 
in the one case is to be righted, how much more should it be so in 
the other? Since the Transvaal is to be relinquished, on what 
possible grounds can the Zulu king be kept a prisoner still? The 
Boers were not altogether innocent, and had we really desired only 
to maintain justice and mercy, and had our own hands been clean, we 

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The Transvaal Question. 105 

might have found ample grounds against them, but against the Zulus 
and their king we had absolutely none. 

There is nothing to be gained by keeping Cetshwayo a prisoner, 
nothing to be lost by restoring him to his people, who are persistently 
imploring us to do so, on whatever terms we may choose to impose. 
We greatly owe the good behaviour of the nation, under circum- 
stances of exceptional temptation to retaliate upon us while we were 
engaged with the Boers, and considerable provocation from some of 
the rulers whom we hastily and foolishly set over them, to the hopes 
of the people that we shall yet listen to their prayer and give them 
back the king to whom they have proved their devotion to the 
highest point, in individual cases, which human nature can reach — 
that of enduring torture rather than betray him to the British enemies 
who were hunting him down. 

We have beaten the Zulus, although not without such difficulty 
that, probably, had we known of it beforehand, we should never have 
forced the war upon them, and the fact of their being a conquered 
race makes it all the easier to do justice to them now. No reason- 
able person can really believe that we give up the Transvaal because 
we do not feel strong enough to beat the Boers ; still, unhappily, 
circumstances are such as to give our enemies a chance of making 
the unpleasant assertion, and to prevent our giving a practical and 
immediate refutation to the charge. The restoration of the Trans- 
vaal under such circumstances shows an amount of national moral 
courage which, if the course commenced be carried out consistently, 
will probably be better appreciated in after ages than in our own 
time, while painfully excited feeling prevents our seeing quite justly 
and clearly. 

But there is no such wounded pride to be stifled, no such difficulty 
to be overcome, in the way of our doing the still more apparent 
justice of restoring the Zulu king to his people. Here the path of 
duty is clear before us, the task an easy one, fraught with neither 
danger nor humiliation to ourselves or others. . We need even make 
no confession of wrong, but can, if we choose, play the part of 
generous conquerors, pardoning the faults against us which have 
never been committed, although we have punished them so severely. 
The inconsistency of perpetuating the injustice committed towards 
the Zulus, while righting that done the Boers, would be so glaring 
that history can hardly fail to give one explanation of it, and that 
will be one which will imply as much want of courage on our part 
as though we really were afraid of the Boers. The Zulus are but a 
coloured race, whose friends — that is to say, those who are ready to 

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io6 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

work and to suffer for their good — may be counted upon the fingers. 
A few voices are raised on their behalf, and against the cruelty and 
injustice which they have met with at our hands, but those few can 
be disregarded, and, in the course of a very short time, the wrongs 
which they denounce will almost have slipped from the memory of 
the civilised world. 

But the Boers, although the lower and more numerous classes 
amongst them have sunk to a degraded level which places them, as 
human beings, far below the average Zulu, have white skins, and are 
of European descent. Injustice towards them on our part is not 
allowed to pass unnoticed by Europe, whose loudly-spoken indigna- 
tion against us on their behalf contrasts somewhat sadly with the 
careless indifference with which she has witnessed our far greater 
injustice towards the Zulus and Basutos. If, while doing difficult 
and painful justice to the victorious Boers, we refuse, where it is no 
less a duty, to show simple and easy mercy towards the conquered 
Zulus, it can but be said that we dared noX. fly in the face of European 
indignation, and that the Zulu has no friends. 


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SPEAKING at Birmingham the other day, Mr. Chamberlain 
said : " There are some people who think that the time may 
shortly come when a review of the position and functions of the 
House of Lords may not be an inappropriate subject for the con- 
sideration of the English people ; but I venture to say that the 
urgent question of the moment — the point to which every reformer 
should now direct his first attention — is the reform of the procedure 
of the House of Commons." A week earlier Sir Stafford Northcote, 
speaking at Manchester, had made a remark of a similar character, 
and emphatic declarations to the same purpose have been made by 
Mr. Gladstone and Lord Harrington. The reception of the state- 
ment by the audience addressed, whether it be a public meeting or 
the House of Commons, has been universally the same. Prolonged 
cheering, unvaried by a single indication of dissent, has approved 
the determination. Hearing this unanimity of opinion among 
leaders on both sides, and noting the unanimous approval on the 
part of the public, the intelligent foreigner may be forgiven if he 
marvels that nothing should come of it. It would seem that all that 
is necessary is that Mr. Gladstone, as leader of the House of Com- 
mons, should bring in certain proposals designed to meet the 
universally admitted necessity ; and that, though it is probable Mr, 
Parnell and his friends might offer some objection, they would be 
powerless against the unanimous opinion and desire of the majority 
ot the House. With such a consensus of opinion between the two 
governing parties, urgency, it seems, would incontestably be voted, 
and the matter might be disposed of at least within a week. 

The necessity being so clear, and Ministers being so much in 
earnest, it will naturally suggest itself to the intelligent mind that 
there is more in this than meets the eye, and that, for some reason not 
plain upon the surface, Mr. Gladstone refrains from attempting to do 
what everyone is agreed should be done. Such, in truth, is the feet, 
well known not only to the right hon. gentlemen who talk so bravely 

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108 The Gentleman } s Magazine. 

about the necessity of change, but to the little band of Irishmen who 
nightly outrage order and even the decencies of debate. It is easier 
to abolish a Church or pass a Land Bill than to induce the House 
of Commons to reform its laws of procedure. The thing has been 
tried more than once, when the tyranny of the obstructionists has 
temporarily driven authority into a condition of desperation. The 
late Government tried it, as the present Government has done ; but 
the result has uniformly been that the attempt has been altogether 
abandoned, or the measure of reform introduced has been whittled 
down till it became a nullity. When, at the beginning of the current 
session, it was necessary to pass a Coercion Bill, and it was found 
impossible to do so under the ordinary rules of the House, an 
exceptional opportunity presented itself and was made the most of. 
Accident further favoured the Ministry— a disorderly scene, which 
culminated in the wholesale expulsion of the Irish members, pre- 
facing the discussion of the new rules. But the whole course of the 
debate made it clear that this was an exceptional condition of affairs, 
and that the minority was determined that it should remain so. The 
Conservatives had no objection in the world to assist in the passing of 
measures designed to restrain the obstructive power of the Irish mem- 
bers. What they were careful for throughout was that the chains they 
were forging should be kept for the exclusive use of the Irish. In 
that direction they would give with both hands. But when it came 
to any possibility of the new rules becoming applicable to themselves 
as a minority, they were exceedingly careful to give them other shape. 
In this respeqj the Conservatives in no wise differ from the 
Liberals when they were in the minority. When in the last 
Parliament Sir Stafford Northcote proposed a series of resolutions 
designed to cut the wings of Mr. Biggar and gentlemen of his 
persuasion, the Liberals scrupulously examined them with intent 
to discover the possibility of danger to themselves as a minority. 
This is the keystone of a business that may well puzzle ordinary 
intelligence. The rules of the House of Commons are framed with 
noble generosity towards the minority. It is the honour and 
crown of a free state that this should be, and all men who love 
freedom will rejoice that, within certain limits of reason and common 
sense, the House of Commons should be found, as it is, unwilling to 
tamper with its constitution. Moreover, in ordinary circumstances, 
the rules of the House are adequate to changing necessity. They 
were framed upon the tacit understanding that men selected by 
the constituencies would be gentlemen of ordinary good breeding, 
and capable of a certain measure of deference to the authority 

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A Mote in the Parliamentary Eye. iog 

of public opinion. As long as this expectation is fulfilled, there is 
no need of despairing cries such as Mr. Chamberlain uttered at 
Birmingham, or Sir Stafford Northcote at Manchester. But we must 
take facts as we find them, and it is a notorious fact that the rules 
of debate in the House of Commons require alteration. 

That they will be altered some day is certain, unless by beneficent 
changes, to be introduced by the Land Bill or otherwise, the further 
fulfilment of Mr. Cunan's prophecy, quoted by Mr. Mitchell Henry, 
be stayed, and it be agreed that by the selection of Irish representatives 
made for the last Parliament and the present one, the wrong accom- 
plished at the time of the union has been amply avenged. That such 
reform will not take place this session is certain ; and I very much doubt 
whether, unless circumstances speedily make Lord Hartington leader 
of the House of Commons, it will take place during the existence of 
the present Parliament. Mr. Gladstone, with the instinct of a man 
who has spent forty years of his life in the House, shrinks from laying 
rude hands on its constitutioa He jumps with eager hope at the 
slightest surcease of obstruction, and, after two quiet nights, believes 
that the two previous months, during which authority was flouted 
and the House turned into a bear-garden, was but " an evil dream.' 9 
Lord Harrington is capable of wrestling with this dragon, and is 
much inclined for the combat But we all hope it may be a long 
time before Lord Hartington is called upon to take the lead in the 
Commons; and, in the meantime, how is the Queen's Government to 
be carried on ? 

Happily, there are one or two points, small in themselves but im- 
portant in their influence, upon which reforms might be introduced 
without the necessity of formal resolutions or pitched battles. The 
habit and the policy of all Speakers run in the direction of laxity. 
The Speaker, as Mr. Brand frequently has to remind the House, is 
not in a position to initiate disciplinary rules. He is not the master 
but the servant of the House. But there are a vast number of regu- 
lations affecting procedure which have grown up insidiously as customs 
grow. Those not resting upon Standing Orders are variable at the ex- 
pressed pleasure of the House, which the Speaker, having ascertained, 
gives effect to. One very simple but important change, introduced 
last session, will illustrate this peculiarity of the government of the 
House of Commons. When a member proposes to put a question 
to a Minister, he writes down the terms of his interrogation, and hands 
it to the clerk at the table. It is carefully read and, if unobjectionable 
in form, is printed in the list of questions for the day indicated by the 
member desiring to put it. If it is not in due form, it is altered 

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no The Gentleman's Magazine. 

by the authority of the Speaker, and [made conformable to certain 
rules, some written and some understood, which guide procedure 
in this matter. Up to 1874 it was the custom, when the time came 
for a member to rise in his place and " beg to ask the Home Secre- 
tary," or the Secretary of State for War, or whomsoever the question 
was addressed to, " the question which stands in my name, No. 000 
on the paper." This was a long-established usage, agreeable to the 
most elementary rules of common sense. Every member in the House 
holds in his hand a copy of the Orders on which the questions are 
printed at full length. Copies are also supplied to the representatives 
of the Press. Everyone interested or uninterested could see for 
himself what a particular question was, and to read it aloud was 
so many seconds or minutes wasted. In the last Parliament, more 
particularly in the earlier years, when there was very little serious 
business to occupy the attention of the House, some members, 
who took a pardonable delight in their own composition, began 
to do themselves the pleasure of reading their questions aloud. 
The practice quickly spread, and before the end of the second 
session became established. When the new Parliament met, 
members re-elected returned to the practice, and new members, 
thinking it was all right, followed suit. The consequence was that, 
with fifty questions on the paper, occupying some five or six pages, 
the mere reading of them began to make a serious inroad on the 
limited time of the House. One night Mr. Joseph Cowen publicly 
called attention to the matter, which, being once named, struck the 
House as so preposterously undesirable that, after a brief resistance 
on the part of the Irish members, the practice was abandoned, and a 
saving of time was effected which practically adds the length of a 
week to an average Session. 

This was a great reform, accomplished in a single night, at a time 
when Ministers had been struggling for weeks to bring about by 
formal resolution a more ambitious saving of time. A great deal more 
might be effected in the same direction and in the same unpretentious 
manner. A cognate reform is suggested at the other end of the 
noisy and not always useful course of a question. Out of the same 
rank soil of personal vanity whence grows the practice of reading 
questions, there springs a habit of publicly giving notice of them. 
Some members — never the most useful — when they have laboriously 
evolved the terms of a question, rise in their places and interrupt the 
progress of public business by insisting upon reading out their little 
composition. This is what is called " giving notice of a question," 
and is considerably less defensible than the habit of reading a ques- 

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tion when actually put. No practical purpose is served, save that of 
flattering the vanity of the member giving notice. The ostensible 
object is, that the Minister to whom the question is to be addressed 
may have time and opportunity to make such inquiries as shall enable 
him to answer it But the Minister may not be in his place at the 
moment ; certainly he will not catch the full purport of the notice ; 
and if he did, his office being closed, he would not be able to devote 
himself to the institution of the necessary inquiries till the next 
morning, when, in the ordinary course, he would find the terms of 
the notice on the printed pdper. It is only a few members, of well- 
known temperament, who thus abuse the good nature of the House. 
It would be as easy to stop this as it has been to put an end tp the 
practice of reciting the terms of questions when put. It is question- 
able whether any practical good comes of publicly giving notice of a 
motion. That is, however, an old-established custom, which does 
not here come under challenge. Notices of motion are more or 
less serious matters, which may merit the prominence given them 
by public notice being given. But the practice of giving notice of 
questions is one that has been impudently grafted upon the older 
custom by the fussy, vain, pretentious men who are to be found in all 
assemblages where talking is part of the daily business, and who are 
not absent even from the House of Commons. 

A still more important reform, which might be introduced forth- 
with, without debate or division, is also suggested by an abuse of the 
right of putting questions. It is obviously a requirement based on 
common sense and common fairness that, when questions are put, 
opportunity should be afforded of considering their terms and 
making the inquiries necessary to full and trustworthy answer. This 
is the daily practice of the House ; and it is carried to such lengths 
that, unless the question be of a class reasonably within the personal 
information of the Minister, it is held to be necessary that several 
days' notice should be given. But, thanks to the honourable indis- 
position of the Speaker too frequently to interpose his authority, 
there has grown up of late — and is increasing week by week — the 
habit of supplementing printed questions by verbal ones. This takes 
many forms, all equally pernicious. Quite the newest is to supple- 
ment a printed question by a verbal one in which an attempt is 
made, with more or less cleverness, to place the case in point in 
quite a different light from that thrown upon it by the original 
interrogator. This is a habit- which, like much else to the detriment 
of the House of Commons, has grown out of the action of the Irish 
members. Being for the most part gentlemen of ingenuous and 

H2 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

trustful nature, they are frequently imposed upon by designing con- 
stituents, who send to them harrowing details of alleged outrages, 
either of landlords or magistrates, which they cast in the form of a 
question — or rather of a series of assertions, with a note of interroga- 
tion at the end of each sentence— and address to the Treasury 
Bench. Thereupon a Conservative Irish member hastily rises, 
and, taking up the original question as it appears on the paper, 
traverses all its assertions. Between these two fires, a Minister stands 
and delivers his modest answer. What follows is only too familiar. 
Two or three Irish members jump up at the same time from below 
the gangway and "hurl back in the teeth" of their countryman above 
the gangway whatever he may have said. Reminded by the Speaker 
that they are out of order, they, as they say, with a sarcasm that has 
long lost its point, "to put themselves in order, will move the 
adjournment." Then are the heavens opened, the floods come, 
and practical business is postponed for an hour, or sometimes three. 
A practical illustration of what happens as a direct consequence 
of the irregularity of putting questions without notice was furnished 
on the day the House adjourned for the Whitsun Recess. When 
the questions on the paper were disposed of, there was the usual 
rigmarole of supplementary questions. Amongst these was one by 
Colonel Tottenham, in which he asked whether it was true that 
there had been an attempt on the life of Lord Dunsandle's son ; and 
whether this was not the third murder, or attempt to murder, in the 
same locality, which might be traced to the action of the Land 
League ? If Colonel Tottenham had taken the proper course of 
giving due notice of his question, he might have been spared the 
trouble of putting it by the discovery of two facts : first, that there 
had been no attempt on the life of Lord Dunsandle's son ; and, 
secondly, that Lord Dunsandle has no son. What followed on 
Colonel Tottenham's sitting down was the uprising of two or three 
Irish members to defend the Land League against the insinuation. 
A motion for the adjournment was made, the Babel of tongues broke 
loose, Mr. O'Kelly was suspended, and an interruption extending over 
three hours prevented the House resuming Committee on the Irish 
Land Bill. In the course of frequent remarks the Speaker had to 
make, he said that, if he had seen the terms of Colonel Tottenham's 
question, he would have eliminated as irregular the reference to the 
Land League. If that had been done, the House would have been 
spared the disgraceful scene which followed, and it would have been 
done if Colonel Tottenham had followed the older and reasonable 
practice of placing his question on the notice paper before putting it 

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After this there appears nothing to be said except that the House 
goes on precisely the same as it did before this incident Questions 
are put night after night without notice, angry recrimination follows, 
and motions for adjournment are not infrequently made. An 
examination of the circumstances under which motions for the 
adjournment have been irregularly made during the present Session 
shows that three times out of five they have arisen upon a question, 
the putting of which without notice was of itself a disorderly pro- 
ceeding. Even where this ultimate evil does not follow, the putting 
of questions without notice is to be deprecated as a loss of time. 
In many cases a Minister declines to answer, requesting that notice 
may be given. But in the meantime the waste of time has been 
effected. There has been so much time taken for the putting of the 
question, and so much for the Minister to request that the ordinary 
rule may be followed. 

Here are two reforms which might be effected whilst we are 
talking largely and waiting wearily for the introduction of a constitu- 
tional measure of reform of the procedure of the House. They do 
not look much, but everyone familiar with the proceedings in the 
House of Commons will know that they mean a great deal They 
might be carried out from next Monday night at the instance of the 
Speaker, who would find support for his action in older-established 
customs of the House. But Mr. Brand is constitutionally averse 
from assuming authority. He habitually shrinks behind a request 
for an expression of the pleasure of the House. Such an expression 
might be elicited by the Leader of the House at its next meeting. 
If Mr. Gladstone, in the course of a few observations on the business 
arrangements of the week, were to allude to these two well-known 
affronts to the spirit, if not breaches of the letter, of the law, he 
would draw from the House an expression of opinion that would be 
sufficient for the Speaker to act upon. When the actual procedure 
of the House is brought into full accordance with the existing rules, 
we may with some hopefulness turn to the consideration of the 
necessity and desirability of amending the rules themselves. 


VOL. CCLI. NO. 1807 t 

H4 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


The "Box of Electricity" 

I TAKE it for granted that the readers of these Notes have read 
some of the accounts of the above which have appeared in the 
daily papers, and therefore I need only to remind them of the main 
facts, viz., that M. Faure has improved the well-known " secondary 
battery " of M. Plante, by coating the plates or electrodes with red 
lead, which greatly increases their efficiency. The newspaper chorus 
was started by a letter dated May 14th, signed F. I. R. S., that ap- 
peared in the Times, in which the writer describes one of these 
secondary batteries placed in a square wooden box of about one 
cubic foot capacity, the whole weighing 75 lbs. 

Everybody has seen the old experiment of charging a " Leyden 
Jar," and remembers how the operator laboured on at the winch of 
the electrical machine, while the sparks crackled out between the 
knob of the prime conductor knob, and that of the jar ; how the 
electric energy was thus accumulated, not in the jar, as some 
suppose, but on the surfaces of its opposed coatings, and how a 
mimic lightning flash or painful shock was produced on supplying a 
means of communication between the coatings. 

M. Faure's "pile secondaire " is an apparatus which does for the 
voltaic battery nearly — not quite — the same as the Leyden jar does 
for the electrical machine. This may be called a "bottle of 
electricity," as fairly as that may be described as a " box of electri- 
city," the differences being due to the differences of electric tension 
in the two cases. The Leyden jar is charged with electricity of 
such high tension that it discharges in one instantaneous flash if 
supplied with a good conducting path, and oozes round gradually by 
a sort of electric leakage when exposed to ordinary vapour-charged 
air. This difference is due to the different conditions of electric 
force originally supplied. 

I have been somewhat amused at the brilliant anticipations 
which this box of "condensed lightning," this "little witch," as Sir 
William Thomson called it, has created. One writer says, "What 

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Science Notes. 115 

possibilities this portable natural force will realise in the future it is 
too soon to predict With the invention before us it would be 
hardly rash to say that hereafter it will lighten our darkness, supply 
us with heat, carry us on our journey," &c. " It seems as if we were 
within measurable distance of the time when we shall be able to tap, 
so to speak, the forces of the universe and make them our servants. 
It is quite possible that, in an age not very remote, coal itself will be 
useless, and that men will wonder their ancestors lived in dread of 
its extinction." 

These anticipations afford a striking confirmation of the paradox, 
" that nothing is so deceptive as figures excepting facts." The fact 
has been conclusively demonstrated that the box of electricity carried 
by F. I. R. S. from Paris to Glasgow contained an amount of 
potential energy equal to one million of foot pounds, that the electric 
force there stored or imprisoned was sufficient to raise one pound a 
million of feet, or one million of pounds one foot. It is just this 
fact and these figures that have deceived this writer and many 

A million foot pounds seems a great deal, but let us examine it a 
little further. A steam engine is said to have one-horse power for 
every 33,000 foot pounds of work it can do per minute, therefore 
this wonderful box of "portable natural force" is just capable of 
doing one minute's work of a 33-horse power engine, allowing only 
one-third of a horse power for loss in transmission to any sort of 
machine. The loss would practically far exceed this. If F. I. R. S. 
had carried his figures a little further, he would have learned that 
more power was expended in transporting his box of energy from 
Paris to Glasgow than the million foot pounds it contained ; and 
that the idea of using such an apparatus as an economical means of 
transferring mechanical power is preposterous. 

I find by reference to John Bourne's " Treatise on the Steam 
Engine," published in 1847, page 81, that the duty done by the 
Holmbush Cornish pumping engine, so far back as 1836, was 
140,484,848 foot pounds for every 112 lbs. of coal consumed. A 
lump of coal of the size of this " box of electricity " would weigh 
about 80 lbs., or 5 lbs. more than the box. 

Now, what is the nature of this lump of coal in reference to the 
uses we make of it ? It is a package of concentrated fossil sunbeams, 
in which is stored or imprisoned more than a hundred times as 
much of " portable natural iorce " as the sensational box of electri- 
city contains. The amount of energy thus bottled up in the coal is 
actually far greater than this, but I only count the amount that was 

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n6 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

practically available in 1836 — much more is now obtainable, though 
even now a vast quantity is lost. F. I. R. S. says that the "advantages 
to science and humanity at large which this discovery is destined to 
afford are of such transcendent importance that we cannot for the 
present form any correct estimate of their magnitude." With all 
due deference to F. I. R. S., Sir William Thomson, the Times, &c, 
I do venture to estimate the mechanical magnitude of the poten- 
tiality of the 75 lbs. sample in question, and assert that it is less 
than that of three-quarters of a pound of coal, and that the idea 
of practically using any such an apparatus for the storage of mechanical 
force is but a baseless dream. 

The writer who regards this invention as bringing us within 
measurable distance of the time when we shall be able to tap the 
forces of the universe and make them our servants, does not seem to 
understand that we have been thus tapping and using such forces 
ever since the primaeval savage kindled the first fire and made any 
use of its heat On the same ground that Plante named his appara- 
tus a " secondary pile," I may claim for a piece of coal or other 
ordinary organic fuel the name of a " secondary sun." We " tap the 
forces of the universe " that have been stored for ages when we open 
a coal-mine, the coal giving by its combustion exactly the same 
amount of heat as the plants which form it absorbed from the ancient 
sunbeams; and this heat or expansive energy is convertible into 
mechanical, electrical, and other forces, as our daily experience 

Even the box of electricity itself was supplied with all its energy 
by coal or wood, whether charged by a battery working by the 
oxidation of zinc, or by a Gramme's or Siemens' machine. The zinc 
ore was reduced by the oxidation of coal or wood, and the machine 
driven by the same great source of power. 

As a scientific achievement, M. Faure's pile is very interesting 
indeed, and it may be useful as a means of transferring electric 
force for surgical purposes, &c, where expense need not be consi- 
dered, and chemicals would be inconvenient. It may possibly 
become an adjunct to electric light apparatus in order to meet such 
a contingency as that which temporarily darkened a part of London 
lately, but I am very doubtful of this. I cannot see why a secondary 
battery should be used when a primary one can in such cases always 
be available, and may be set going in less than a second by merely 
lowering the suspended plates into the exciting liquid. Such a 
battery ready for instant working might easily be kept at hand in 
connection with every dynamo-electric arrangement, where a tem* 

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Science Notes. ny 

porary hitch in the machinery is a serious matter. Though more 
costly than the steam-driven machinery, it would be cheaper, quite 
as convenient, and more reliable for continuous working than 
any secondary pile that has been, or is ever likely to be, invented. 

The most hopeful suggestion is that the secondary pile may 
perform for electric generators the function of a fly wheel, by 
receiving and storing the overflow of surplus power when the demand 
for power falls short of its supply, and giving it out when this con- 
dition is reversed. 

The Isthmus of Corinth Canal. 

THE invincible Lesseps is said to have obtained from the Greek 
Government a concession for cutting a canal through the Isthmus 
of Corinth, and the newspaper comments that are made upon it refer 
to difficulties to be encountered, and the modern advantages afforded 
by the blasting of rocks by dynamite, &c, &c 

Many years ago, when I was young and headstrong, I ventured, 
in spite of brigands, to make some excursion from Athens into the 
beautiful but wretched country of rural Greece. One of these trips 
was to Corinth, where from the Acropolis, which commands a mag- 
nificent panorama of classic ground, extending to the Athenian 
Acropolis, 50 miles distant, I saw the Isthmus and all its surroundings 
lying like a map below. It thus appeared so narrow, so nearly flat, 
and so easy to cut through, and thereby save the long sail round the 
Morea, that I determined to examine it closely, and accordingly 
spent the greater part of the following day in exploring it alone, and 
on foot 

The impressions conveyed by the bird's-eye view were fully 
confirmed by this closer survey. The isthmus is merely a tongue of 
limestone, " a kind of conglomerate limestone," as I find it described 
in my notes. The cutting through such material is mere child's play 
to modern engineers. As the isthmus is so nearly flat in some 
parts, the depth of cutting would be but small, supposing that 
all the canal be cut through this foundation rock — which may be 
unnecessary, for I found, beside the conglomerate limestone, 
a deposit of soft gravelly rock or partially consolidated gravel 
following or filling up what appeared to me to have been 
originally a natural channel, the bed of a stream that once connected 
the Gulf of Corinth with that of Egina, as the Bosphorus connects 
the Black $ea with the Sea of Marmpra. If I am right, the cutting 

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n8 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

of this canal will be merely a matter of holiday recreation to such an 
engineer as M. Lesseps. 

Nero commenced a very respectable ship canal from the 
Corinthian side. It was 200 feet wide, and is traceable to a distance 
of about 1200 yards. The absence of any serious elevations is 
evident from the fact that there was a level roal across the isthmus, 
the DiolkoSy over which small vessels were drawn on rollers from one 
sea to another. 

The Great Irish Telescope. 

AT the Dublin meeting of the British Association in 1878, the 
members had the privilege of examining the great telescope 
then in course of construction by Mr. Grubb at Rathmines. The 
tube and all its framing appliances were completed, and the great 
object-glass was ground but not polished. It is now finished, and 
about to be forwarded to its destination, the Imperial and Royal 
Observatory, near Vienna. 

It is the largest refracting telescope that has yet been con- 
structed, though our American cousins are threatening something 
still bigger. The tube, with its glasses, &c, weighs 7 tons, yet it is 
moved in any direction by a touch of the hand. The steel dome 
forming the roof of the observatory temporarily erected at Rath- 
mines is 45 feet in diameter, and weighs 15 tons; but I turned it 
easily with one hand by a direct push or pull, though it was then but 
imperfectly levelled. The tube of the telescope is 33^ feet in length, 
36 \ inches diameter in the middle, lessening to 27 inches at the 
object end, and 12 inches at the eye end. It is made of lapped and 
rivetted steel plates. 

The object-glass is 28 inches in diameter, with a working surface, 
or "aperture," of 27 inches. The difficulty of obtaining such a mass 
of glass without flaw, and more especially of equal refractive power 
throughout, is one of the primary limitations to the possible size of a 
refracting telescope. Another is the difficulty of grinding and polish- 
ing accurately, and mounting without flexure. 

As an example of the accuracy demanded, I may mention that 
when I saw the glass there stood upon it a little instrument called a 
spherometer or tripod micrometer. This measures the curvature in 
its own diameter to 5 oooo of an mQ h> but was not a sufficiently 
delicate measure of the uniformity of convexity. It was only avail- 
able in roughing out the glass. Optical tests were necessary for 
finishing. After a glass has been accurately ground, it may be 

Science Notes. 119 

spoiled In the polishing, and therefore, when the optician has got his 
curvature correct, he will leave the surface a little rough, rather than 
risk the figure for the sake of fine superficial polish. It is easy 
enough to obtain high magnifying power, but the combination of 
correct definition with this is the difficult problem. 

In using such a telescope, or even a much smaller one! the 
rotation of the earth becomes strikingly evident If the telescope is 
fixed, the moon, the planet, the star, or other celestial object runs 
away, and is presently out of the field. The motion of its rising or 
setting is magnified as well as the object. To meet this the telescope 
has to be mounted so as to rotate on an axis which is parallel to the 
axis of the earth, and so arranged that the " optical axis," or line of 
sight of the telescope, is at right angles to this. Thus, the telescope 
moves upon this axis just as the whole vault of the heavens appears 
to move. This arrangement is called an " equatorial mounting," and 
when thus arranged, clockwork may be attached which moves the 
telescope as it might move the hour-hand of a clock, but at half the 
rate, i.e. once round in 24 hours. By this means a star is followed 
when the telescope is turned in the opposite direction to that of the 
earth's rotation. To follow the moon or the sun is not so easy. 

To learn the direction in which the telescope is pointing, or in 
other words the position of the object seen, there are divided 
circles which measure the vertical, horizontal, or other inclination of 
the instrument ; " right ascension and declination," correspondirlg to 
terrestrial longitude and latitude extended to the skies, being the 
principal requirements. In an instrument of such magnitude these 
limbs or graduated circles or arcs are far away from the eyepiece, but 
by means of mirrors and suitable illumination, Mr. Grubb has brought 
them within the nearest possible reach of the observer using this 
telescope. He has only to look through another eyepiece, near to 
the main one, and there he sees the magnified divisions of either limb 
and its vernier by simply turning a handle, which moves the prismatic 
mirrors in such wise as to reflect that which he requires to read 
directly to the eye. The divisions are engraved on an alloy of 'one 
part pure gold and one pure silver. 

I should add in explanation, for the benefit of those who are not 
learned in telescopes, that the absolute size of this telescope is far 
less than either of Lord Rosse's, but these are reflecting, not refracting, 
telescopes, and the possible limits of size of a metallic mirror are far 
greater than those of an achromatic object-glass. I walked down the 
tube of Lord Rosse's larger telescope, and found that the top of this 
tube was nine inches higher than I could reach with my arm exti 

120 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

upwards above my head ; length of tube, 53 feet— thus forming 
a respectable tunnel. 

Trappist Monks and Naturalists. 

IN the Globe of April 19 last is an article in which the Island of 
Herm and its attractions for the marine zoologist, the mineral- 
ogist, the botanist, &c, are well described by a writer who evidently 
understands the scientific part of his subject, but who nevertheless 
bases his communication on a mistake. He warns the naturalists 
to hurry there and see it at once for the last time, telling them that 
the island " is passing from the hands of the late popular secular 
proprietor into those of the monastic Trappists ; and once these 
ascetics fairly establish themselves on its soil, good-bye to incursions, 
either for science, for sport, or for pleasure." 

I am not an admirer of monkish institutions, quite the contrary ; 
but as a matter of justice to the Trappists, and to prevent naturalists 
from being scared from this interesting islet, I state the following 
facts : — 

In 1830 the Trappist monks of Meilleraye in Normandy were 
expelled from France, as others have been recently. They settled 
on the flanks of the Knockmeledown Mountains near Cappoquin, 
and there have done wonders in reclaiming the waste land, planting 
timber, &c. In the summer of 1876 I sailed up the beautiful 
Blackwater river from Youghal to Lismore, then walked to Cappoquin 
and up to the monastery, reaching it after sunset The monks were 
all in bed, but one of the brothers got up, let me in, gave me supper 
and a comfortable clean bed in a decent though very unpretending 
room. I had breakfast next morning and was shown throughout 
the establishment, which is very extensive, including the residence 
of the monks, a large church, a guest-house, in which I slept, and 
two schools ; one free for the poor, and the other a boarding-school 
for paying pupils. 

When I left I offered payment for board and lodging, but it was 
refused, and there was no box as at St Bernard ; but a copy of one 
of my books, sent afterwards by post as a contribution to their library, 
was accepted with many thanks. 

On my way across the mountains in the morning I met one of 
the monks, Father Basil Foley, and walked and talked with him 
during some two hours, discussing the land question, &c &c He 
invited me to come again and spend a week at the monastery. 

Twq years after I was at Waterford just when the new railway to 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Science Notes. 121 

Cappoquin opened. It was Sunday morning,' and there was an 
excursion to Cappoquin. I took a ticket and revisited the monastery. 
This time I was one of a party of seventy or eighty visitors, excur- 
sionists, who hired every car obtainable at Cappoquin, and drove in 
procession to besiege the monastery. The monks received the 
motley crowd, including a few priests, entertained them in the guest- 
house with bread and cheese, ale and stout, and sherry for the ladies 
— making no charge, but on this occasion receiving the voluntary 
contributions of their unceremonious guests. 

While I was engaged upon the bread and cheese, Father Foley 
recognised me, drew me aside, and asked me to come with him 
and " take pot-luck." What that meant I presently learned when I 
found myself in a refectory within the regions of silence, and one of 
a select few of favoured guests who were regaling on hot roast and 
boiled joints, with potatoes, greens, and bottled beer. It was a 
curious repast, the visitors and lay-brother waiters communicating 
by signs, and a father in his white woollen robe preaching a sort of 
sermon in short semi-rhythmic paragraphs or propositions, with 
pause between each. Though the monks thus entertain their guests, 
they themselves only drink water and eat bread and vegetables. 

The reader may judge from the above whether the naturalist 
need despair of revisiting Herm when the Trappists are in possession. 
Some of the remarkable hospitality of Mount Meilleraye may be 
attributable to the irrepressible geniality of the Irishman which 
breaks through all restraints; but it is evident that Trappism, 
however severe upon its own devotees, may be very indulgent to 

Coal-dust Explosions. 

COLLIERY explosions have been cruelly frequent of late, in spite 
of the Davy lamp, skilful ventilation, and inspection. A certain 
proportion are probably attributable to the carelessness of colliers, 
and some to preventible causes connected with the management 
of the mine. Recent investigations have proved that they are more 
frequent when a low barometer indicates diminished atmospheric 
pressure, and most especially when the fall has occurred suddenly. 
The reason of this is easily understood. The hydro-carbon gas that 
escapes as " fire-damp " is chiefly supplied by what the colliers call 
/ blowers" — small jets or streams of gas that comes hissing out from 
its long imprisonment when the miner's pick removes the solid 
impediments to its escape. As the face of the coal, like all else 

122 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

upon the earth and under the earth, is subject to the pressure of the 
atmosphere, the force of this emission must be equal to the excess of 
the elastic pressure of the coal-gas above that of the atmosphere. 
Lessen the atmospheric pressure, and the force of such emission must 
increase proportionally. Or in cases of gentle oozing of gas due to 
very small excess of pressure from within, the variations of atmo- 
spheric pressure may determine whether there shall be any escape at 
all beyond what is due to gaseous diffusion. 

Warnings are now given in order to induce special caution when 
the barometer is unusually low. Careful attention to the movements 
of the barometer has saved many a good ship, and may possibly save 
the lives of many colliers. 

It is commonly believed that fire-damp, or coal gas, is the only 
cause of colliery explosions. There is, however, another explosive 
agent quite distinct from this. In dry dusty mines explosions have oc- 
curred where the character of the coal is such that there are no sudden 
outbursts of fire-damp, and very little can ever be found. In these 
cases the explosion is accompanied by the production of clouds of 
smoke and deposits of soot ; the timbers, the floor and roof of workings 
being covered with a crust of coked coal-dust. Faraday and Lyell 
reported to the Home Secretary in 1845 that in the Haswell colliery 
" this deposit was in some parts half an inch thick and in others 
almost an inch thick." These explosions are analogous to those 
which take place in flour and saw mills, and are due to the sudden 
ignition of particles of combustible dust suspended in the air. 

This subject is so little understood, that some of my readers will 
probably hesitate to accept the explanation. The statement of a few 
demonstrable facts may remove this scepticism. 

At a lecture delivered June 1, 1878, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, 
by Prof. L. W. Peck, he showed a number of experiments demonstrating 
the terribly explosive powers of flour, starch, powdered sugar, and 
other kinds of organic dust A gas flame was placed near to weighed 
quantities of the dust, which by means of a pair of common bellows 
was then suddenly blown towards the flame. Thus, three-quarters 
of an ounce of starch placed under an inverted open box, and sud- 
denly puffed up while a flame was burning near it, threw up the 
box, weighing 6 lbs., to a height of 20 feet. Half an ounce thus 
bumed in a box closed with a loose cover, threw up the cover 
3 inches, with a heavy man standing on it. A closed box of 4 cubic 
feet capacity, having five sides 1 \ inch thick, and the other side J 
of an inch thick, was similarly charged with dust. On its ignition the 
thin side of the box was blown out, and a flame shot out "half-way 
across the stage." 

Science Notes. 123 

At first sight this may appear contradictory to our ordinary 
experience, but it is not so. The explosion of the starch, flour, 
sugar, wood-dust, mill-sweepings, &c, is almost identical in its origin 
and character with that of gunpowder, the difference being that the 
oxygen is supplied to the latter in a solid instead of a gaseous state. 

Gunpowder is charcoal-dust and brimstone-dust mixed with salt- 
petre, which salt, when heated, gives out oxygen, that combines with 
the dust particles, forming compound gases and evolving heat, the 
expansive action of which constitutes the explosion. The flour-dust, 
sugar-dust, starch-dust, &c, when diffused through the air, consist of 
minute particles, each of which is surrounded with a little atmosphere 
of its own, which atmosphere contains oxygen. These particles and 
this oxygen, when heated, unite, with evolution of more heat, and 
consequent expansive force, each expansively-burning particle firing 
its surrounding neighbours just as each grain of gunpowder fires 
those surrounding it, or, more strictly speaking, as each minute grain 
of carbon or sulphur-dust, of which the visible gunpowder grains are 
composed, does so. 

Flour contains about 40 per cent of pure carbon ; one ounce 
of such carbon combining with 2f ounces of oxygen will evolve 
heat enough to exert an expansive force capable of raising 35 
tons to a height of 10 feet, supposing none of the power were wasted. 
To do this completely, the one ounce of dust must be equally 
diffused through about 9 \ cubic feet of air. In any other propor- 
tions, or if unequally diffused, the combustion of the dust would be 
incomplete, and the effect proportionally diminished. It is well for 
us that such correct adjustment of proportions does not often occur 
by accident. 

Coal-dust explosions are more easily preventible than fire-damp 
explosions, as the dust may be laid by water. In ordinary mines 
there is water enough, commonly too much in some parts, though 
even in very wet mines certain parts of the workings may be dry. As 
we proceed in our present course of reckless consumption, we are 
driven to deeper and deeper seams ; the deeper we go, the hotter and 
drier the mine, and the greater becomes the danger due to this 
additional explosion-factor, the coal-dust. So far as present ex- 
perience shows, it appears to have acted rather as an adjunct to the 
fire-damp than an independent explosive. In the explosions of flour- 
mills and saw-mills the combustion of the dust does all the mischief; 
in coal-mines the first outrush of explosive expansion and the subse- 
quent return rush into the partial vacuum thus produced, stir up every 
particle of dry coal-dust, and may thus produce a secondary explosion. 


124 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


The Meiningen Court Company. 

THAT our stage has much to learn from that of other countries 
is the impression forced upon the mind by the successive 
troupes, French, Italian, Dutch, German, that come over and play for 
our delectation and benefit In individual actors we stand as high as 
any country in Europe. I could name six or eight comedians now 
on the English stage whose merits "may speak unbonneted" to 
those of any artists that have come to us from abroad. In stage 
management, meanwhile, and in the drilling of supernumeraries, our 
position, in spite of all that has recently been effected in the way 
of improvement, is contemptible. It is impossible to believe in 
the reality of action, when those supposed to be most deeply 
concerned in it are gaping at the ceiling or casting bovine glances 
into the pit An effect such as is produced in the performance of 
" The Twelfth Night "' ( Waslhr wollt) by the Meiningen Court Com- 
pany recently in our midst, when the message of Viola, disguised as 
Cesario, is given to Olivia in the presence of ladies in attendance, 
who take a smiling and cultivated interest in what is going on, and 
whisper gently one to another concerning it, is as far out of our 
present reach as is the more vaunted, but less effective, presentation 
of the mob in "Julius Caesar" listening to the oration of Mark 
Antony, and roused by it to madness and mutiny. 

Excellent as is the German stage management, as illustrated in 
the before-mentioned company, it is not faultless. In the disposition 
of individuals, and in that of crowds, the artifice is apparent When 
a conversation is being conducted in the front of the stage, those who 
walk behind are affected and unnatural in gesture ; one waves grace- 
fully his hand towards some imaginary object out of sight, as drawing 
his companion's attention to it, and a second points to what is going 
on, like a schoolmaster indicating to his young friends what to 
admire in a landscape. The same thing is seen in the groups, in 
which, as in a melodramatic picture, the art of arrangement is too 
evident, and the attitudes in which men are placed are pi 

Digitized by* 

Table Talk. 125 

rather than conceivable. This is scarcely hypercriticism. There is 
in these things defect which may be remedied, and the fact that 
blemishes so minute make themselves felt attests how admirable is the 
general representation. 

One critic has pointed out that the students and others, who in 
" The Robbers " are represented as joining Carl Moor in his wan- 
derings, are middle-aged men, whereas they should be youths. This 
observation is just. The class which has always been most turbu- 
lent under oppression is the youth at the Universities. From the very 
formation of Universities this has held true. Stimulated by reading 
in the classics, and especially in Plutarch, of the heroes of antiquity, 
and filled with theories concerning freedom, youth has always been 
eager for reformation and change, and often ready for the most reck- 
less of deeds. Of the same class as these scholars depicted in " The 
Robbers n are the students who are said to be the most energetic 
among the Nihilists. It is not only among students that youth shows 
itself violent and reckless. Speaking, the other day, to one of our 
most eminent police officials, I was told that most burglaries and 
desperate actions are committed by boys of eighteen to three- or 
four-and-twenty. With more knowledge, the criminal becomes more 
circumspect, and takes to less adventurous, if not less remunerative, 
forms of offence against society. 

Intellectual Expression in Old Aoe. 

THERE are few who have not seen in happy and reverend 
age the kind of beauty to which Donne refers when, in his 
ninth elegy, he declares — 

No spring nor summer's beauty hath such grace 
As I have seen in one autumnal face. 

The phenomenon is indeed far from rare. In masculine as in femi- 
nine physiognomy, a softening and beautifying power is exercised by 
the weakening and relenting influences of age. I have frequent oppor- 
tunity of contemplating old men belonging to the operative classes, 
farm-labourers and the like, who are in receipt of parish relief or who 
have accepted shelter in an almshouse, and I have been struck by 
the social and intellectual superiority to the class from which they 
are drawn that their faces disclose. In the period of ripe manhood, 
when the fight of life is most keen, the average human face, sharpened 
and set for combat, is seen at its worst Infancy finds, of course, in 
its helplessness an appeal to which the whole world responds; childhood 

Digitized by V^iOOg \Z 

126 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

has all the grace and beauty of promise which in the works of nature 
as in those of man are, nine times out of ten, superior to those of 
performance. Then comes the ripening charm of adolescence and 
nubile years. This period, when — to use the splendid lines which the 
author of " Festus " wrote, and of which the author of " The Angel 
World," whose chief mission it seems to be to dishonour his early 
work, is, I suppose, ashamed — 

The blood is bright, breath sweet, skin smooth, 
And limbs all made to minister delight — 

is, of course, the crowning period of beauty. With increasing years 
features as a rule grow more accentuated, tricks of style develop into 
uncomfortable mannerisms, the smile hardens into the grimace, and 
the whole aspect has not seldom, when the individuality most 
strongly asserts itself, something of caricature. This state of things 
lasts until the arrival of age, when modifying influences make them- 
selves felt, and when returning feebleness and the foreshadowing of 
dissolution bring back something of the pathos and grace of childhood 
In the faces of men whose occupations through life have been purely 
mechanical, habits of observation and thought, small as they may be, 
give the look something almost akin to culture. I do not expect these 
views to pass undisputed or unchallenged. They may be accepted, 
however, as observations from life ; and the more a man thinks upon 
the question, the more speedily he will come to similar conclusions. 
I do not say that the illustration holds true in every case. I think, 
however, it is general enough in application to have the force of a 

A Novel Tax. 

OF many proofs ot Yankee ingenuity, the most remarkable that 
has lately come under my notice consists in the effort to sub- 
stitute direct for indirect taxation with regard to the liquor traffic^ 
which is being tried in Indiana. A Bill is at present before the 
Legislature of that State, the effect of which will be to impose an 
annual tax of ten dollars upon every man who wishes to drink 
intoxicating liquors. A sum like this, which constitutes more than 
the annual earnings of a ryot, is, of course, considerable. It repre- 
sents, however, but a small portion of the tax which the middle-class 
Englishman annually pays the State in the shape of liquor-duty. It 
is worth notice, as restraining the privilege to get drunk which the 
possession of a licence might seem to imply, that the "permit" is to 
be forfeited on the first conviction for intoxication. Out of the sum 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC 

Table Talk. 127 

raised by the licences it is intended, moreover, to maintain asylums 
for inebriates. 

Our Linguistic Accessions. 

IN the case of a language so composite as English, the intro- 
duction and assimilation of words taken from foreign sources 
are natural and familiar processes. Some opposition is at first 
encountered by the new-comer, but if it serves any purpose we end 
by giving it welcome. In this respect, our treatment of foreigners, 
whatever their nature, is the same — commencing in shyness and 
reserve, and ending in effusiveness and hospitality. Words and 
phrases like chauvinism*, morgue, sommiti, mise en scene, and others 
which, in one sense at least, have no exact equivalent, or supply 
the place of a periphrase, have already found acceptance ; while others, 
such as matinee applied to an entertainment musical or dramatic, 
caucus, Geist, and the like, linger on the threshold. A style sur- 
charged with Gallicisms, Americanisms, or Teutonisms, is to be 
avoided. There is, however, no reason to oppose neologisms, what- 
ever their source, when they fit the genius of our language ; and the 
fact that we have words of almost the same meaning, affords no 
reason why we should not enrich our tongue with synonyms or equi- 
valents, if we can get them. The only real danger to our language 
comes from the over-employment in scientific matters of Greek 
terminology. In the attempt to denote certain forms of animal or 
vegetable life, and certain developments of disease, a jargon wholly 
alien from our language is employed. I, for one, prefer talking of 
the parrot tribe by that name to calling them the Psittacidce, and I 
maintain that intellectual vision is darkened rather than illumined by 
the use of such words as chylopoetic or chylificatory. 

Our Linguistic Donations. 

MEANWHILE, it is curious to see the kind of words that our 
neighbours consent to accept at our hands. That the 
vocabulary of sport in France is mainly English, furnishes little cause 
for pride. In adopting a word like groom, the French but return our 
lead in taking valet. A complete interchange of words bearing upon 
certain trades has been introduced, but is confined to the districts 
between which an active commerce prevails. Rheims in Champagne, 
or Turcoing on the Belgian frontier, and Bradford in Yorkshire, have 
thus what may almost be called a lingua franca, or pigeon English, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

128 The Gentleman 's Magazine. 

in which commercial affairs are carried on by those who are ignorant 
of the language of one another. We have, however, given the French 
the word comfortable, and we may in time supply them with cosy, 
to which also they have no equivalent It is amusing to see that 
gmtltman has now almost superseded gentilhomme, which should 
have precisely the same signification. The one word, however, sup- 
plies a French notion of the gentleman, and the other the English. 
Gentleman appears in the Dictionary of Littre*. Among other words 
to be found therein are tramway, express as a substantive signifying 
a train, flint-glass, jockey, and steamer* So much less elastic is the 
French language than our own, that the acceptance of words such 
as these shows how urgent are the needs of intercommunication. 
Ticket has not found its way into Littre*, but that word, with perform- 
ance and the announcement, Great Attraction, are all common in 
the theatrical world. A punch and a grog have long been estab- 

Kindness to Animals an English Attribute. 

WHEN we sum up the advantages of modern days, and endea- 
vour to estimate to what extent we are better than our 
forefathers, there is one aspect of improvement which the veriest 
pessimist will not deny. In morals we may be where we were a 
hundred years ago, or earlier. We have at least learnt the lesson of 
kindness to animals. It is a very significant fact that we are teaching 
to those who are supposed to be the most humane race under the 
sun — to the Hindoos, that is — the lesson of humanity. On account 
of our flesh- eating propensities, we are regarded by the Hindoo as 
detestable, disgusting, and accursed. Those, however, who are so 
reluctant to put animals to death, have no notion of treating them 
with mercy. A branch of that excellent institution, the Society for 
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — to which, in spite of its 
unpopularity, it is largely owing that our streets are not like Pande- 
monium — has been established in Calcutta, and the inhabitants ot 
that capital have been taught by penalties that they may not with- 
hold water from captive animals, carry them with their heads down- 
ward, or otherwise inflict upon them needless and cruel suffering. In 
no respect is England so worthy of the pre-eminence she enjoys as in 
setting foreign nations this example. When I think of the cruelty I 
never fail to see in every part of the Continent, and compare it with 
our own more merciful ways, I wish we could send out missionaries 
to preach the doctrine of love to animals throughout the length and 
breadth of soi-disant civilisatioa 




August 1881. 


Chapter XXIII. 


u /^ s IVE me a call to-day at half-past four ; I want to see you 
VJX particularly ; be sure to come ; no puttings-ofT, mind." 
Such was the tenor of a little note Montana received from Lady 
Vanessa about noon of the day which had opened for him by the 
death-bed of his father. He was in little mood for the whims of a 
great lady. He would have evaded Vanessa's peremptory invita- 
tion if he could. But there was a straightforward strength of purpose 
about Lady Vanessa which always impressed him, and he felt sure 
that if she sent for him it was really because she had something to 
say which it would be well for him to hear. Besides, he began to 
think that it probably had something to do with the meeting between 
Geraldine and himself in Berkeley Square. It might be important 
for him to hear what the sprightly lady had to say on that subject. 
So he was punctual in his visit Exactly at the appointed hour he 
was in Vanessa's drawing-room. Montana always prided himself 
on his punctuality. He had but one hero in his boyish, romantic 
days, and that was the Count of Monte Cristo ; and the Count 
of Monte Cristo had an impressive way of always turning up at 
the exact moment, even if he had to come from the other end of the 
world. Half-unconsciously Montana was often playing the part of 
his boyhood's hero even still. 

vol. ecu. no. 1808. k 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

130 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" So, here you are I " was Lady Vanessa's gracious greeting. " I 
knew you would come ; I want to talk to you." 

Lady Vanessa had just as much cruelty in her disposition as is 
consistent with general good-nature ; that is to say, she felt kindly 
towards most persons, towards nearly all whom she knew, and she 
would have been glad, if it were put to her, to do a good turn for 
any man or woman. Nor would she under any circumstances have 
carried a freak of cruelty to the extent of inflicting serious pain. But 
within these limits she occasionally liked to be a little cruel, even to 
those for whom she had some regard. It gave her a pleasant sense 
of power when she was annoying people. She liked to sport with 
them, and make them seem ridiculous. Now, she had taken some- 
what of a liking for Geraldine — " the little American," as she called 
her — but she was none the less glad of the opportunity given to her 
to hurt the little American's feelings slightly, and to sport with her. 

"What is the address of your little American ?" she asked 
Montana abruptly. 

" Do you mean Miss Rowan ? She is not little, and she is not 

" Oh, I call her little," said Lady Vanessa, conscious of her own 
superb height " She is little to tall folks like you and me ; and I 
call her American because she has been a long time in America, and 
picked up the ways of the people there." 

"Another correction I would suggest," Montana quietly said. 
" You call her my little American, and she is not mine in any sense." 

" But she is going to be, ain't she ? I suppose you don't con- 
fabulate with girls in the public squares at midnight— girls like that, 
I mean — unless there is an engagement between you. I don't see 
what better you could do, my good friend. She is a very pretty 
girl, and clever and good, I'm sure. But if I were you, I wouldn't 
have meetings by moonlight alone with the- girl I was going to marry. 
It won't do her any good in people's eyes. Now, I mean to go and 
see her and give her attaining. She is as innocent as a goose of all 
our ways here, and it is only Christian charity to put her up to things. 
You know that I am nothing if not Christian and charitable." 

Montana was annoyed at the way in which Lady Vanessa spoke, 
but thought it hardly worth while to take it seriously, and make any 
objection ; and he was not perhaps in his heart sorry that she should 
go to Geraldine and tell her of the risk she ran by meeting him 
at night in the square. So he gave Lady Vanessa Geraldine's 
address, and Lady Vanessa straightway drove off to Captain Marion's 
house and asked to see Miss Rowan. 

Digitized by LjOOQ iC 

The Comet of a Season. \$\ 

Geraldiae was not much in the humour for visitors of any kind 
that day; especially was she not in the mood to encounter fashion- 
able ladies of Lady Vanessa's style. But she received the great lady, 
and tried to put on an air of composure and of friendly welcome. 

" Look here," Lady Vanessa began, coming to the heart of the 
question, " I have come to give you a piece of advice. You are a 
good girl, I am sure, and very clever, but you are not up to our ways. 
In England it would never do for a girl to go meeting a man at 
midnight in one of the squares, even though she is engaged to him, 
or going to be engaged to him." 

Geraldine was surprised and distressed by such a greeting. Her 
first feeling was one of resentment, and she gave expression to it 

" I am much obliged to you, Lady Vanessa, for thinking of me at 
all, and coming to give me this warning, but I really don't want it. 
I do understand English ways quite well, and I knew what I was 
doing, and what people would say if they came to know of it. I 
suppose people will come to know of it now, and I can't help it. 
As far as I am concerned, they may say what they like. I meant no 
harm, and thought no harm." 

"Of course you didn't," Lady Vanessa said ; "and there is no 
harm done, child, anyhow. Nobody saw you but myself, as far as I 
know, and I shan't spread the story any further. I could not help 
chaffing Montana a bit about it, because he sets up for such a saint, 
don't you know. But I really did not come to chaff you — only to 
give you a friendly hint. Nobody supposes you thought any harm. 
I am sure I don't But still, don't do it again, there's a good girl." 

" I shan't have occasion to do it again. But if there were occa- 
sion I should not shrink from doing it again." 

"Oh, well, don't let there be occasion," Lady Vanessa said. 
" There need not be occasion, I should hope, for I don't advise you 
to make it a long engagement" 

"There is no engagement," Geraldine said, ".between Mr. 
Montana and me, long or short — there never will be." 

" Come, now ! that won't do, you know. I have too high an 
opinion of you, Miss Rowan, to think that you are a girl to go 
philandering about with a man like Montana at night in a public 
square, unless you were going to marry him. I know he wants to 
marry you. He hasn't told me so in so many words, but he allowed. 
me to understand it; and there are lots of girls, let me tell you, would 
be only too glad to be in your place. So don't talk about not being 
engaged to Mr. Montana — at least, to a sensible woman like me." 

" But I am not engaged to Mr. Montana," said Geraldine firmly, 

132 The Getttlemaris Magazine. 

u and I never shall be. If you care about knowing anything of toy 
affairs, Lady Vanessa, you may as well know that at once — I shall 
never many Mr. Montana, or be engaged to him." 

" But he has asked you ? " 

" I don't think I ought to tell you anything about it," said Geral- 
dine, " more than I have told you. I would not have told you that 
if I could have avoided it." 

" Oh, bless you, I know it all," Lady Vanessa declared. " I 
know that he is wild about you, and I know that he has asked you 
to marry him, but I certainly did not know that you had made up 
your mind the other way. I can only say, I don't understand you 
at all. I am sure you mean no harm, but let me tell you — a girl who 
refuses a man, and then goes about afterwards with him alone at 
night in a London square, will be apt to be considered an eccentric 
sort of young woman." 

" I don't mind," said Geraldine. " I can't help that" 

" But look here— now, don't be offended ; I mean this in all kind- 
ness — will you let me advise you? You are awfully proud, of 
course, and you think me very rude and intrusive. Well, perhaps I 
am a little intrusive, but I only mean it for your good. I understand 
our London world, and you don't Do, pray, like a good girl, if you 
don't mean to marry Mr. Montana, keep out of his way, and make 
him keep out of your way, and be resolute about it." 

Lady Vanessa now felt more and more interested in " the little 
American," and anxious about her, and wished her well. 

Geraldine felt profoundly humiliated. She did not doubt the good 
intention of Lady Vanessa, whose frank smile indeed spoke only good- 
nature, and she did not much mind Lady Vanessa's eccentric ways; but 
it was a bitter humiliation to her to know that even one woman thus 
regarded her with wonder, and felt bound to endeavour to intervene 
in her affairs. She did not know how far Lady Vanessa's promise of 
secrecy could be trusted, and anyhow it was a humbling thought that 
the promise of secrecy should be offered, and should be held neces- 
sary. She felt that the chain which had been so strangely drawing 
itself around Montana and her was in its mysterious way bringing 
them closer and closer. She could only strengthen her courage by 
saying to herself, " I must get away. I must escape from all this, 
and go back to America." She said as much aloud. 

" I am going back to America very soon, Lady Vanessa ; my 
mother is in America." 

"Then, the sooner you go back to your mother the better, my 
dear girl, if you really don't think of marrying Mr. Montana. But I 

Digitized by LiOOQ iC 

The Comet of a Season. 133 

should think that over, if I were you. He is a splendid fellow in 
many ways. You might do worse." 
Geraldine shook her head. 

" No ? well, then, go back to America. Let me tell you, I don't 
think you'll find it such a very easy thing to get rid of Mr. Montana 
if you stay here much longer. He's a man to have his way in most 
things. That's one reason why I like him. I like a man, or a 
woman either, who says, ' Now, I want this or that, and I'm going to 
have it' That's the sort of man tie is, don't you know. In many 
ways I think he's a good deal of a humbug — between ourselves, and 
since you say you don't intend to marry him. I've often said almost as 
much to himself. Well, good-bye, Miss Rowan ; and I hope you'll 
forgive my intrusiveness. I'm awfully wilful ; but I generally mean 
well. On the whole, I think I'm glad you don't take to Montana; 
but all the same I am not by any means sure that you are free of him. 
I should think he'll manage to have his way in the end." 

Lady Vanessa went away, leaving Geraldine much disturbed and 
distressed. What especially troubled her was the consciousness that 
in her secret soul she had misgivings now and then that corre- 
sponded with Lady Vanessa's doubts as to the possibility of her 
maintaining her will against Montana. 

" Qh, why am I not madly in love with somebody ! " the girl 
said, half seriously, half in that kind of miserable jesting mood in 
which men and women with a certain poetic dash in them are wont 
to laugh at their own weaknesses and perplexities. " If I were 
only in love with some one, I should be safe. Why am I not in love 

with " and then she stopped and got very red, and felt as if she 

had been going to say something shameful. What she was going to 
say was this, " Why am I not in love with Clement Hope ? " 

" Poor boy ! " she thought. " Melissa is trouble enough for him." 
She was almost sorry that Lady Vanessa had gone. It was a 
relief to have any one to speak to on the subject that engrossed her. 
To her unspeakable delight, a day or two after, Captain Marion 
returned suddenly to town. He came back, he said, to look after 
poor Clement Hope. In truth, that was only one reason for his 
sudden return. He did not like the progress of the inquiry his 
friends were making in the north. It was far too like the work of a 
private detective, he thought, and said as well as thought In vain 
Aquitaine and Fanshawe endeavoured to impress him with a sense 
of the imperative duty that they believed was imposed on them to 
settle the question of Montana's identity. Marion could only say 
that he detested such work; that he believed in his friend Montana, 

134 The Gentlemaris Magazine. 

and scorned to make any inquiry about him. His mind was mis- 
giving him, all the same. He would not admit it even to himself; 
but one source of his annoyance was this growing misgiving which 
he would not acknowledge and could not shake off. 

His coming determined Geraldine. She would speak to him at 
once. She must have some friend and protector, and he was best 
of all. She was fond of him and trusted him ; she knew he was 
fond of her and trusted her. There was no woman on this side of 
the Atlantic to whom she could possibly have opened her mind. 

No sooner resolved than done. She invaded Captain Marion in 
his study. She had never made quite so free as this before. 

Marion welcomed her, but seemed embarrassed too. 

" I want to speak to you, Captain Marion," Geraldine began, 
almost breathless. " You have always been so good and kind to 
me, that I think I ought to tell you of something that troubles me." 

" There ! I knew it," Marion thought. " The girl's been made 
miserable by these ridiculous reports ! She thinks she ought not to 
stay here any longer." 

" Well, Geraldine," he said, " I have tried to be kind to you, but 
it was a selfish feeling, I am afraid ; "and then he stopped, and thought 
to himself, " Oh, hang it all ! that will never do. That seems like 
making a declaration of love to the girl, and justifying all these fools 
say." " Selfish, you know," he said with an effort to be very resolute 
and calm, " because it was so pleasant for my girls to have a companion 
like you." 

" I want to speak to you," she said again, " of something that 
troubles me." 

" Well, well, my dear ! " Marion said. " Geraldine— I mean, Miss 

" Miss Rowan ? " she asked, with open eyes of wonder. " Why 
Miss Rowan ? You are not offended with me ? " 

" Oh, good heavens, no 1" and there was unmistakable earnestness 
in Marion's tone this time. " How could I be offended with you, my 
dear girl — I mean Geraldine ? " 

" Then, why did you call me ' Miss Rowan ' ? " 

" Well, if it comes to that," said Marion, more embarrassed than 
ever, "you are Miss Rowan, you know." 

" I am not generally Miss Rowan to you." 

" Well, I will call you anything you like," he said, " and I will do 
anything you like, for you know how fond I am of you. I mean — 
that is— of course, you know* what I mean is— that you know what a 
,high regard I have for you." 

The Comet of a Season. 135 

11 There is something strange in your manner," Geraldine said, 
looking up at him frankly with open eyes. " You don't seem like 
yourself. I almost think I ought not to come troubling you about 
this trouble of mine/' 

"No, no; there is nothing wrong with me," Marion said, "and 
nothing wrong with you, I am sure." "What am I saying?" he 
mentally interjected. " But I don't know, Geraldine, that there is 
much good in talking about this. It is all folly and nonsense. Let 
them say what they like. They can't compel you." 

" Can't compel me to do what ? " 

" Well, I am sorry to put it so bluntly," said Marion. " They 
cannot compel you to marry, if you don't like." 

" Oh, no," said Geraldine, " that is quite true. I tell myself that 
again and again, and yet I am so troubled, somehow. But how did 
you manage to guess beforehand what I was going to talk to you 
about ? I did not think any one here had thought of it but myself." 

" Yes ; I have thought about it," said Marion, " because I have 
heard foolish talk about it." 

" Then it has been talked about ? " 

" Talked about ! Oh, yes, my dear girl ; everything is talked about 
now. It has been talked of to me, and I make no doubt it has been 
talked of to others. But I do assure you, Geraldine, in all sincerity 
and truth, I never said or thought anything which could give the 
slightest encouragement to talk like that" 

" Oh, no," said Geraldine, dreamily. " I never supposed you 
did Why should anyone suppose you did ? " 

" People suppose all sorts of things," Marion said fretfully. 
"People seem to think that a man can't be kind to a woman 
without trying to make her fall in love with him and marry him. 
They seem to forget that there is such a thing as difference of age." 

" Oh, well," said Geraldine, " I am afraid, Captain Marion, you 
lay too much stress upon that I don't think you quite see all the 
difficulty that troubles me. The difference of age would not be 
much of an obstacle." 

" Not much of an obstacle ! " Marion thought " Where are we 
now ? What does the girl mean ? * A sudden thought flashed across 
him. "Is there such a very great difference? She is a charming 
girl, and— oh, but that's nonsense 1 " 

" Well," he said aloud, "difference of age means a difference that 
increases, and not diminishes, every day." 

" Then you are entirely on my side ? " 

" Entirely on your side ? I am always on yow sid^r^ut I 

igi ize y ^ 

136 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

don't think I quite understand. It is all in your own hands, 
Geraldine. No pressure whatever can be brought to bear upon 

" But that is what I am afraid of/ 1 said Geraldine. " There is a 
kind of strange mysterious pressure that I cannot understand or 
explain which is put on me, and I sometimes begin to be afraid 
that it will break down my will and all my power of resistance." 

Marion was now utterly puzzled. What did she mean? Was 
she ascribing to him some power of unconscious fascination which, 
he was not even trying to exert, but which threatened to prove too 
strong for her will ? 

" That's why I come to you," she said ; " I want shelter, and 
strength, and protection." 

"But, Geraldine, I really don't quite understand. Is not this 
only giving a countenance to what people say ? Why come to me 
for shelter and protection — shelter and protection against what ? " 

" Against myself, sometimes, I am afraid — against my own want 
of firmness." 

" Surely you do not want firmness ! Why, you seem to me to 
be a girl of the strongest character and the clearest purpose. You 
ought to know your own mind if any woman does. Do you know 
your own mind in this ? Do you really know what you want to do 
and what you do not want to do ? " 

" I know what I wish to do," Geraldine said plaintively ; " I know 
that well enough. I know what I hate and dread to do. I am 
afraid I cannot make any one understand what my trouble is. I 
must seem a silly and stupid girl to you when I tell you in one 
breath that I am afraid of being brought to do the very thing I 
should most hate to do. I know that my life is entirely in my own 
keeping, and that no one can compel me—but still I come to you, 
and I must open my heart to you — I have no one else here — and 
tell you that I am weak and cowardly enough sometimes to fear that 
I may be persuaded to give way. So I want you to support me and 
defend me." 

Marion now began to find that they were really at cross-pur- 
poses, and that things were not as he was supposing them to be. 

" I think, Geraldine," he said, " we had better have a litde very 
plain speaking, and put what we mean into precise words. What do 
you want roe to do ? What is the danger you want me to protect 
you against?" 

Geraldine stopped for a moment. She was disappointed. Either 
Marion really die} not know her trouble, or he wQuld npt relieve her 

Digitized by VjiJVJV LC 

The Comet of a Season. 137 

from the pain of explaining it in words. It had been a great relief 
to her for the moment, when she fancied that Marion could guess at 
what she wished to say without giving her the pain of saying it. 
This made things more easy, even although it brought with it the 
humiliating knowledge that she had been talked about. Now the 
momentary relief was gone, and she had to put her case plainly. She 
made up her mind, and came to the point at once. 

" I want you," she said, " Captain Marion, as the dearest friend 
I have here, to stand between me and Mr. Montana." 

Captain Marion started to his feet. This was a surprise indeed. 
Of this he had never thought. How ridiculous now seemed the 
absurd conjecture that a moment before he had allowed into his 

" From Montana ! " he said ; " from Montana, Geraldine ? Do 
you really mean that ? What has Montana been saying ? " 

" Can't you guess ? " she asked. 

" For heaven's sake, like a dear girl, let's have no more guessing. 
I have been guessing already, and guessing wrongly, as I dare 
say you may have seen, and very likely to make a fool of myself I 

Poor Geraldine had seen nothing of the kind, nor thought 
anything about it. She was too much engrossed in her own 

" Well, it is this," she said. " I suppose I ought to be much 
flattered and very grateful. Mr. Montana professes a great liking 
for me. You know the kind of way he talks. He professes to think 
me a woman just suited for him, and for his career, and for his work, 
and all the rest of it, and has asked me — well, to marry him." 

Marion walked uneasily about the room. The news troubled 
him. A few days ago he would have been delighted to hear it ; 
now he was distressed by it. Not that his faith in Montana was 
shaken as yet, but that he did not like the idea of even Montana 
offering himself as a husband to Geraldine while any manner of 
suspicion or doubt about him and his purposes remained on any 
one's mind. And then — and then — she was a charming girl, and 
Marion was very fond of her, and people had talked as if it were 
possible that she might marry him ; and although Marion did not 
want her to do so, yet for the moment there was in his heart a sort of 
revolt at the thought of her marrying anyone else. 

" And you have answered no ? " he said at last, stopping in his 
walk, but not looking at her. 

« I have answered no ; and I mean no." 

138 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" Very well ; then I suppose there is an end of it, isn't there ? " 
There was something strangely fretful in his tone. 

At that moment a letter was put into Geraldine's hand. It was in 
Montana's handwriting. She looked up at Marion with such an 
expression in her face that she might as well have told him at once 
the letter was from Montana. He could not but know it. " From 
Montana ? " he said. 

" It is. I don't know what he is writing to me about" 

11 Hadn't you better open it and see? " 

Geraldine read the letter aloud, not without some trepidation. It 
was very short. It only begged her to come to him at once. 
" There is good reason," Montana wrote. " Even you, when you 
come, will see that I was right in sending for you." 

" What absurd mystery is this ? " Marion asked. " What is coming 
over everybody ? We are all going in for mysteries and mysterious 
inquiries, all over the place. Not one of us is a bit like what he was 
or she was two months ago. You can't go to him, Geraldine." 

" Oh, no," she said at once. " I don't know what he can want of 
me. I can't go ; it's out of the question." Then suddenly remem- 
bering Melissa and her unlucky correspondence, she stopped in 
embarrassment, and with a growing colour on her cheek, she said, 
" Yes, Captain Marion, I must go to him. I can't help it." 

" Another mystery ! " he said. " You say you won't marry 
Montana, and that you don't like him ; and yet he has only to send 
for you, and you run to him 1 He has only to whistle, and you fly 
to him. Geraldine, you shan't go." 

" I must go, indeed," she pleaded. " It is something I am sure 
that does not concern me, but it does concern someone else. I 
must go, Captain Marion." 

" Let me go ; I will talk to Montana. He is a man, and has 
some sense." 

" Come, you are turning cynical now," Geraldine said, with an 
effort to be pleasant, " and you must have your fling against women 
too. You say we are changed, Captain Marion. Is not this some- 
thing of a change in you ? " 

" Well, I dare say it is. I suppose some wrong twist is getting 
into my mind as well as into the minds of all the rest of you. Any- 
how, let me go and talk to him, Geraldine." 

" I can't, indeed. I must go. Pray be kind to me, and don't 
ask me anything. It is all right — at kast, it is not all right, and it 
might be all wrong, but I don't want it to be so ; and I want to go and 
see him, and I must go at once." C^ r\r\n\o 

7 ° Digitized by VjOOvIC 

The Comet of a Season. 139 

" Then I will go with you." 

" Yes, come with me, by all means," Geraldine said, very glad of 
his presence and protection ; " come with me, and wait for me. I 
shall be obliged to speak to Mr. Montana alone, but you can come 
and wait for me, and you can cut the interview short when you think 
it has lasted long enough. I shall be very glad to have you with me. 
Only, come ; we must not lose time." 

Chapter XXIV. 
" she's left her home, the graceless girl ! " 

An hour or so before this talk between Geraldine and Marion, a 
panting, alarmed little fugitive was getting out of a train at Euston 
Square. The train was crowded, and there was a great deal of bustle 
at the station. The fugitive was able to escape unnoticed. Had there 
been less crowd and less confusion, less struggling for luggage, 
and hustling of porters, and clamour of cabmen, somebody must have 
observed that the fugitive was a fugitive, and was in much alarm and 

Melissa Aquitaine, when she got out of the train, looked so wildly 
about her, and then drew herself together with such an elaborate and 
determined appearance of absolute composure and utter indifference, 
that anybody who had time to observe her must have seen her con- 
fusion. She put aside intrusive porters who would ask her about her 
luggage. She told one such officious inquirer that she had no lug- 
gage ; she asked another what it mattered to him ; to a third she 
gave no reply but an angry glance. She ran the wrong way up the 
platform, and found that she was apparently making for the place 
whence she had started. She then turned round affrighted, and ran 
the other way, and passed the door of exit in her alarm, and got 
bewildered amongst the booking offices and telegraph offices, and 
refreshment rooms, and hideous men and odious barmaids. Then 
when she was actually in the open street it occurred to her that she 
had not the least idea how to get to the place she wished to reach. 
She turned back and hailed £ Hansom cab, then changed her mind 
and got into a heavy four-wheeler, paying no attention to the impor- 
tunate demand of the driver of the Hansom to be compensated for 
breach of contract She told the driver of her four-wheeler to get on 
as quickly as he could, without telling him where he was to go. He 
saw clearly enough that something was wrong, and so drove her a 
little way from the station before he stopped to ask her any question. 

140 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

He came down from his box, and put his head in at the window, 
convinced that it was a case for quiet and confidence. Her manner 
fully confirmed his idea, for she whispered the direction to him in as 
low a tone as though there had been anybody near to hear it or care 
about it She named the street where Montana lived She was 
going in this affrighted way to see Mr. Montana. She had come 
from her home for the purpose. She had, in plain words, run 

During the last day or two she had heard talk of some vague kind 
between her father and Mr. Fanshawe about Montana. She knew 
that they thought they had found out, or were on the track of finding 
out, something to his disadvantage. She lay awake at night thinking 
of what she should do. She thought of writing to him, and began a 
letter, and then stopped. She could not explain to him in a letter 
all her grounds for alarm. 

Then, a letter might not reach him. She could not remember the 
number of the house in which he lived, although she could have 
found the house easily enough if she were there. Why, then, could 
she not go there ? In this long, wakeful, miserable night, that 
thought came more and more into her mind, " Why not go and tell 
him ? " If she could see him in time, and put him on his guard — 
what a service that would be to offer him ! Perhaps he would be 
grateful. Perhaps he would understand what risks she had run, and 
how much she had sacrificed for him. Perhaps, out of being grateful 
to her, he might come to care for her. At all events, he could not 
but speak kindly to her and pity her. She rose from her bed half 
a dozen times at night, and walked up and down her great, lavishly- 
ornamented Moorish-Turkish Japanese room, in whose decorations 
she had once taken such pride and pleasure, and about which now 
she cared so little. She walked up and down, looking like a per- 
turbed and restless little ghost She looked out of the window at 
the growing dawn, and tried to keep her composure, and to think 
over things, and to make up her mind. When the full morning 
came at last, and the household were stirring, she listened for every 
word of conversation among the men that might give her some 
hint of the danger which threatened Montana. Frank Trescoe, she 
found, had suddenly come down from London — what did that mean ? 
She did not hear much, but still there were words let drop now 
and then, and there was sullen resolve enough in Frank Trescoe's 
tones, to make her feel convinced that there was a danger, and 
that they were all set on doing some injury to Montana. It never 
occurred to her to think of anybody else being in the right, and 

The Comet of a Season. 141 

Montana beihg in the wrong. Trescoe and Fanshawe she regarded 
as mere conspirators against a good and great man ; vile, malignant, 
evil-minded conspirators, who, out of their sheer wickedness, were 
bent on injuring him because of his mere goodness. Her father she 
regarded as one meant for better things, but drawn into a base 
conspiracy through the delusive arts of unscrupulous acquaintances. 
The more she thought, the more she raged against the conspirators, 
and the more she became determined that it was her destiny and her 
duty to baffle the conspiracy and to save the noble victim. 

A plan soon shaped itself in her mind. That day Mrs. Aquitaine 
had promised to take her to an art gallery in the town, to meet some 
girls, cousins of Melissa's, there. Melissa knew well what that would 
come to. Mrs. Aquitaine would be sure, when the moment came, 
to say she could not go. She would not quit her beloved sofa. 
Then Melissa would pout at the disappointment, and the easy 
mamma would allow her to go alone in the carriage. Once she was 
free of the house, anything might be done. She turned the whole 
matter over in her throbbing little brain, and she began to 
think that the stars in their courses were fighting on her side. She 
would be expected to pass many hours in the art gallery, looking at 
the pictures with her cousins, who passed for having ideas about art. 
It was now twelve o'clock. She would not be expected home before 
six o'clock at the earliest. Even if she were missed after that, half 
an hour or an hour, at least, would be allowed to pass before her 
absence would cause any alarm. She was observant enough of 
anything that interested her at the moment, and she had been quite 
enough interested in the going up to London and the coming back 
from it to bear in her mind the length of time the journey took, and 
the hour at which the train left from either end. She remembered 
that there was a train about one o'clock for London : If she went 
by that train she also knew that she would be in London actually 
before her absence could create any alarm at home. She would be 
in London, and she would have accomplished her purpose. She 
would be able to warn Montana even before a letter could do it. 
She would have won some claim to his regard. She would have 
shown him that she was really devoted to him. It was as wild a 
scheme as ever entered the mind of a foolish, lovelorn, impassioned 
girl. Perhaps, considering the difference of time and place and all 
conditions, it was at least as wild as that of Juliet herself. But 
Melissa was now as devoted as any Juliet. There was scarcely any 
risk she would not have run, any folly she would not have committed, 
now that the fit was on her. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

142 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

All that was known of her that day at home was that she went 
with her maid in the carriage to the art gallery, where she was to 
meet her cousins. She dismissed the maid and the carriage, and 
gave directions that they were to call for her at half-past six in the 
evening. She entered the gallery, went once rapidly round the first 
room, came down the stairs again, and passed out The man at the 
door of the gallery noticed her sudden departure, and thought she 
had gone to call back the carriage, or give some message, or look for 
something she had forgotten. He paid no great attention to the 
matter; only, he did remember afterwards that he had seen the 
young lady come in and very soon after go out again. 

Melissa was gone, and had her five or six hours' law all to herself. 
She got into a cab and drove to the station. She was still some half 
an hour too early when she had bought her ticket, her hands 
trembling all the time with nervous excitement so that she could 
hardly take up her change, the money rattling about in a piteous 
and confusing way. Then she left her ticket behind her, and had 
to be called after and reminded of it When all this was done she 
sat in miserable anxiety in the waiting-room, dreading lest at any 
moment some chance acquaintance should come in, or that her 
father, put in some strange way on the scent of her departure, should 
suddenly present himself at the door. The time seemed as if it 
never would pass. A kindly porter took pity on her, thinking that 
she was some poor girl who had to leave her home, perhaps to go to 
a strange town as governess or something of the kind, and wonder- 
ing very much why it was that no friend could be found to come 
with her and see her off. He took her, therefore, under his charge, 
at first much to her alarm. When the train was ready he found a 
carriage for her, and saw her safely into it. She pulled out her purse, 
and, to his surprise, gave him a whole handful of silver, some of the 
shillings in her agitation falling on the platform. In a few minutes 
the train was gone, and Melissa's flight was safely made. 

It was nearly seven o'clock when Montana got rid of the last of 
the visitors at his evening reception. He was weary, and full of 
ominous, uncomfortable feeling. His nerves, always highly strung, 
seemed now like musical instruments that vibrated to some unseen 
extraneous influence. Suddenly he was told that a lady wished parti- 
cularly to speak with him for a few moments. This was vexatious. 
He was not in a mood to care for the spiritual confidence of any per- 
plexed soul, and he assumed it was on some such business the lady wa9 
coming. His own soul was perplexed enough to occupy all his 
attention. He said he could not see anyone ; but a pressing message 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC 

The Comet of a Season. 143 

came back, saying that the lady must see him — begged him to 
see her. He gave way at last, wearily. To do him justice, he was 
not ill-natured at heart, and seldom denied any petition, no matter 
what inconvenience it brought to himself. He rather submitted to 
the lady's coming in than gave her permission to come ; and he was 
determined to make her visit as short as possible, and to induce her 
to tell her story in the fewest possible words. 

It was growing dusk, the evenings falling in now early, as the 
summer was waning ; and Montana, his mind quite abstracted from 
all around him, did not recognise at first the little figure that stood 
upon his threshold. 

Panting, palpitating with excitement, with fear and hope and 
anxiety of all kinds, the girl said, " Mr. Montana, don't you know 
me ? I am Melissa Aquitaine." 

" Miss Aquitaine ! " Montana said, greatly surprised, his mind sud- 
denly coming back to the mysterious letters of which he had received 
so many. " I am very glad to see you ; I didn't know you were in 
town. Why are you alone ? Where is your father ? " 

" My father is at home," she said ; " and that is why I have come 
here. I have come to tell you something, Mr. Montana — to warn 
you about something. I don't know what it is, but they have found 
out something, or they think they have, that concerns you ; and it is 
something bad, they say ; and I believe there is danger about it, or 
they are going to do something — I don't know what — but I could hear 
enough to know that there was danger for you, or something unplea- 
sant for you, and I thought I would come and tell you of it" 

"When did you leave home?" 

" Only to-day. I came by the train ; at one o 'clock, I think. I 
came away as soon as ever I could. I would have come any length 
to save you." _. , 

" But," Montana said, " my dear young lady, I don't know what 
danger could threaten me, or how any warning could avert it." 

His mind misgave him, nevertheless. He was in a mood to anti- 
cipate danger. But he was not now, and never was, in a mood to 
$how this. 

. "No one has anything to say against me, Miss Aquitaine. If I 
have enemies, they are enemies on public grounds, and I have no 
reason to dread them. Most certainly your father is not one of them." 

u I don't know," said Melissa. u 1 almost think he is now. Not 
that he would do anything unfair, of course ; but he has. something on 
his mind. . . They think they have made some discovery about you." 

" Who are ' they ' ? " said Montana. " Your father— and who else? " 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

144 Tk* Gentleman's Magazine. 

" My father, and young Fanshawe, and Frank Trescoe, and others 
too, I think. They have been rummaging out evidence amongst all 
sorts of people where we live, you know, and they think they have 
found out something. 1 ' 

" Do they know of your coming up to town ?" he asked. 

"Oh, no," said Melissa ; "they would never have allowed me if 
they knew. But I was determined to risk everything in order to 
warn you. I didn't care about the risk. I ran away, Mr. Montana, 
and that's the truth of it. I ran away from my home, and I don't 
care. I am not ashamed, or, if I am ashamed, I am not sorry." 

" I don't know how to thank you," Montana said ; and, indeed, 
he was for the moment surprised and touched by the reckless gene- 
rosity of the girl. " I don't know why you should do so much for 
me ; or how I can show my gratitude." 

" You don't owe me any gratitude," Melissa answered in piteous 
voice, and with eyes fixed on the ground. " I couldn't help it, Mr. 
Montana. I would die for you, if that would do any good. I should 
like to die for you, if you would only speak a kind word or two to 
me. Oh, I am so wretched sometimes — and now you know every- 
thing, and you despise me." She put her hands over her eyes and 
burst into tears. She had now completely broken down ; the tension 
of excitement was relaxed ; the physical and mental reaction had 
set in. 

Montana was really moved. What man, after all, could ever be 
absolutely indifferent to such evidence of a pretty girl's devotion and 
love? She looked very charming, with her little child4ike head 
bent over her hands, and her breast trembling and palpitating like 
that of an affrighted pigeon. For a moment Montana was filled 
with a feeling of pure and tender regret that he could not love the 
girl — that he could not be young again for the sake of loving her. 
If he could only take her to his heart and hold her against all, 
against friends and family and father, and make her his own ! 
" Here stands my dove — stoop at her if you dare," is a noble line 
from Ben Jonson which exactly expresses the feeling Montana would 
have been glad just then if he too could have put into words and 
action. He spoke to Melissa in soft, kindly, reassuring words ; not 
words of love — in all her confusion, Melissa could notice that — but 
words a little warmer than mere friendly interest inspires. 

"It will all come right, my dear young lady. I will send a 
telegram to your father at once, and we will explain all to him. He 
is a just man, and he will know how to make allowance for your 
generous friendship." 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

The Comet of a Season. 145 

Melissa shuddered " I dare not see my father." 

" Leave the explanation to roe ; I will tell your father— he is rail 
of sympathy ; he will understand. All will come right, believe me — 
you will be perfectly happy in your home again/' 

Melissa dashed the tears from her eyes. 

" Happy in my home ! " she exclaimed. " Do you think I could 
ever go home again ? Do you think I could go back to be the scandal 
of the place ; to be talked of everywhere as the girl who ran away 
because she was — because she was madly in love with a man who 
didn't care three straws about her? To have young Fanshawe and 
everybody else despising me, and preaching sermons about me ? 
No, Mr. Montana, 111 not go home. I knew what I was doing well 
enough, silly and foolish though I am. I did it for you, and I 
would do it over again ; but I'll not go home. Things never can 
come right again for me, and I don't much care now." 

She seemed to have grown into a strange maturity of thought 
and speech within a few moments. She spoke with an almost icy 
composure. She had all the quiet indomitable courage of despair. 
She asked nothing now of fate. 

Montana grew alarmed. There was no mistaking Melissa's 
earnestness of purpose. A woman who spoke like that was capable 
of any resolve. He tried to reason with her, but she put his 
reasoning quietly aside. Nothing on earth could move her, die said. 
She would never go back to her home. 

u We can do so little for you here," he said. " I have not even 
a woman servant, Melissa." 

Melissa's eyes lit up for a moment as she heard him call her by 
her name — for the first time. He saw it, and stopped short Then 
she smiled a wild smile. 

" You don't know what to do with me ; I am terribly in the 
way. But I don't mean to put you to any trouble, Mr. Montana ; I 
am going at once." 

41 My dear Miss Aquitaine, going where?" This time it was 
" Miss Aquitaine." 

" I don't know— anywhere out of this. I have done all I wanted 
to do, Mr. Montana ; fulfilled my mission, I dare say some of you 
would call it." There was a ring of her old petulance in her voice 
as she said these words. " I think there is some plotting against 
you going on, and I have come to tell you of it, to put you on your 
guard ; and that's about the best mission I could have ; and so, 
don't mind about me — I'm all right Good-evening, Mr. Montana." 
She got up and held out her hand. 

VOL. CCU. HO. 1808. L 

346 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

"You can't go out of this," Montana said, "until I have 
put you in the care of some relatives or friends who have a 
higher claim on you than I have. For the present, you must stay 
here. I am old enough to be your father— almost ; no one will say 
a word because you have spent a few hours in my house. I owe 
you too deep a debt of gratitude not to take good care of you — and 
we are not so ungracious here as to allow young ladies to go 
wandering about Come ! can you make tea? " 

She shook her head. 

" I don't think I can ; I can't do anything. You put some tea 
into something, and then you get hot water : but I don't know ; I 
don't think I could do it." 

" Come, then, I can do it ; and I'll show you how. I have 
learned to do all sorts of cookery for myself in my odd life of 
wandering. I want some tea, and I know you do too. Now, then, 
you shall look on, and 111 give you a lesson in the art of making 

Montana was talking with a purpose — with two purposes. He 
wanted to turn the girl's mind away from the seriousness of the 
situation ; to try to get her to think of it as something unimportant, 
not at all irretrievable. Also, he wanted to gain time. Nothing 
could have been wiser on his part. Melissa's high-strung despairing 
mood became a little relaxed and softened as he spoke thus in quiet 
cheerful tone. He felt that he was gaining ground. He rang the 
bell ; he bade his servant get tea-cups ; kept the servant in and out 
of the room ; talked all the time to Melissa, and drew her out, and 
compelled her to talk commonplaces in answer to his commonplaces; 
left the room three or four times and instantly came back again — 
thus relieving Melissa from any idea that he was keeping guard upon 
her— and in one of these short intervals he wrote to Geraldine Rowan 
and begged of her to come to him at once. He felt much satisfac- 
tion with what he had done. In all his concern for poor Melissa, he 
was glad to make of her a means to bring Geraldine Rowan to him. 
She must come, he thought, and her coming would be a new bond 
to fasten her destinies to his. He passed some moments of keen 
excitement, for all his cool and cheerful manner. At last his servant 
came in and said : 

"Miss Rowan, sir." 

" Show Miss Rowan in." He rose with a feeling of triumph. 

Melissa's eyes flashed fire. In an instant two things seemed to 
be made clear to her. She was captured, and Montana was Geral- 
dine's accepted lover. She felt like a little panther caught in a trap. 

The Comet of a Season. 147 

Was there ever, she thought, any girl so disappointed, so degraded 
before ? Ah, it was too cruel of Montana, of Geraldine, of Heaven \ 
All the heroic and romantic glow of her enterprise had quite gone 
out of it now. She was not a heroine ; she was treated only like 
some naughty school-girl who has played the truant She was merely 
kept in durance until some severe friend could be sent for to take 
her back to home and angry parents and punishment. Geraldine 
Rowan was to be brought to see her disgrace and take charge of 
her ; and Geraldine would pity her, and be kind to her, and would 
talk about her to Montana when she had gone, and would learn from 
him all that she had said in the wildness of her mad love ; and the 
two would shake their heads over her ; and Geraldine, for all her 
good nature, would condemn her as a very unwomanly and shocking 
girl Even death would hardly save her now from being an object 
of ridicule. Yet, if there were any chance of death at that moment, 
oh, how gladly would our poor little outlaw have grasped at it ! 
What a wild satisfaction it would have given her if she could have 
said to herself, " When Geraldine comes, she will only see my dead 

" You sent for Geraldine Rowan ! " she exclaimed, turning upon 
him with eyes that flamed. 

" I did," he said. " She is the best person to help us ; she is very 
fond of you." 

" Oh I n was all Melissa's answer ; a low cry of pain and shame. 

Chapter XXV. 


The room was dim and dusk, and Geraldine, with her short sight, 
had to look closely to see who was there. 

She did not recognise Melissa at first. Montana came forward. 
"Miss Aquitaine is here," he said, "and I am sure she would be 
glad to speak to you, Geraldine. That is why I sent for you so 
abruptly, and I knew you would come. I shall leave you two 
together for a few moments, and Miss Aquitaine will tell you why 
she came to town, and you will advise her." 

He had purposely called her Geraldine before Melissa, and had 
spoken with the manner of one who has authority. He felt certain 
that Geraldine in. her surprise at that moment would not stop to 

1 2 

148 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

repudiate any authority he might seem to assume, and that it would 
be a distinct advantage to his purpose that Melissa should see his 
manner to Geraldine, and Geraldine's acceptance of it. 

When he went out of the room poor Melissa sat in a great arm- 
chair, leaning her chin upon her hand, and looking utterly haggard 
and crushed. She did not turn her eyes towards Geraldine, but kept 
them sullenly fixed on the floor. 

At the first moment Geraldine was really not much surprised to see 
Melissa there. She had not had time to take in any of the meaning 
of the situation, and for a moment or two it did not seem to her more 
strange that Melissa should be in that house than if she had met her in 
Captain Marion's home. Now, however, looking at Melissa's crushed 
and desponding attitude, something like the truth came in upon her. 

"When did you come to London?" she asked; "and why did 
you come here?" 

"You needn't ask me any questions," Melissa said coldly; 
" you needn't ask why I came here. Guess for yourself; and if you 
can't guess, Mr. Montana will tell you. I suppose you are very 
angry with me, Geraldine, but that was to be expected, and I don't 
care. I don't care who is angry with me now. Cela m'est egal^ as 
someone says in some play." 

" Is your father in town ? " 

" He is not in town. If he were, I dare say I should not be 
here. You ought to feel grateful to me, Geraldine, although I'm sure 
you don't feel anything of the kind. I ran a risk to put Mr. Montana 
on his guard against people who are plotting and planning to injure 
him. That is more than you would have done, I dare say, although 
he is in love with you, and you are going to marry him." 

"Dear Melissa," said Geraldine, "don't talk in that way. It is 
painful to hear you. Mr. Montana is not in love with me." 

" Oh ! " Melissa exclaimed, with a little start ; " how can you ? " 

" No, I don't believe it," Geraldine answered, with some passion 

in her voice. " I don't call that love — I don't call Well, at 

all events, I am not in love with him, and I am not going to marry 
him. I am never going to marry him. I am not going to many 
anyone, him least of all in the world. I am so sorry for you, 
Melissa. I feel so deeply for you. I wish with all my heart that I 
could help you in any way, but this is really dreadful You surely j 

did not leave your home, and your family, and your dear, kind, 
loving father, and rush up to London in this mad way? " 

" Oh, but I did, though. That is exactly what I did do. I am 
not sorry for it, even still ; although I know now, if I djdn't know 

The Comet of a Season. 149 

before, how little good it was for me to make any sacrifice. But I 
was not thinking about myself when I did it, and I am not thinking 
much about myself now. It is done, and can't be helped." 

Geraldine threw her arms round the trembling little girl, and 
kissed her tenderly again and again. 

" You sweet, foolish, dreadful child 1 '' she said ; " you were not 
thinking of yourself, I know. It was wild of you to do it, and you 
ought never to have done it But it was generous, and I can't be 
very angry with you." 

Melissa struggled a little to get away. She was one of those who, 
however touched or tender at heart, are always inclined to rebel against 
any demonstration of tenderness or affection. 

" Well, that's very good of you, Geraldine, I'm sure," she said. " I 
was afraid you would have been jealous, my dear, although you 
need not There is not the slightest occasion for your being jealous, 
about me, as you can see perfectly well." She could not keep her 
tongue from petulance, even at that moment. " But it was very 
kind of you, Geraldine, for all that, and what they call magnanimous ; 
and I am sure you are sorry for me, more sorry than I am myself 
just at this moment. But it is all up with your silly friend, my dear, 
and I shall have to pass a life of penitence and scolding if I live at 
all, which I hope I shan't, and which I will not do if I can help it 
Good-night, Geraldine ; it is most improper of me to be here in a 
strange gentleman's apartments, isn't it ? And it is not every strange 
gentleman's fiancee who would be quite so good-natured as you have 
been. Anyhow, it is time now for me to depart, as the heroines of 
the novels would say — or to take myself off, as I prefer to put it. 

" Where on earth are you going?" 

" I am going," said Melissa, " to the Salwanners — in America, 
where the war is. That is Dickens, Geraldine — one of the few 
things I remember in Dickens— and I like it, although I don't 
quite know what it means. I am going there — it has a charming 
vagueness about it, and falls in nicely with my present state of mind." 

" You are going home, I suppose ? " 

" I don't exactly know what ' home ' is," said Melissa. " I am 
quite sure I am not going home to my father's house, like the pro- 
digal young person in the Bible story. I should have a very chilly 
reception there, I rather think." 

" Then, you are coming home with me ; you are coming to 
Captain Marion's. That is your home in London." 

" I shan't do anything of the kind," Melissa said, getting up and 

150 The Gentleman $ Magazine. 

rapidly tying her bonnet and adjusting her mantle. " Good-evening, 

" You are certainly not going out of this alone/' said Geraldine* 
"My dear little Melissa, if I had to hold you by main force, I should 
take care of that I fancy I am a good deal stronger than you. 
I almost think I could carry you from this to Captain Marion's 
in my arms, and I will do it too, rather than allow you to go any- 
where by yourself to-night But it doesn't need all that Cap- 
tain Marion's here. I brought him with me, and he will take care 
of you. He is as kind as any father could be, although I am sure 
your father is kind enough. Mr. Aquitaine will come up to-morrow, 
and everything will be right" 

11 Ridiculous 1 " Melissa replied sharply ; " nothing on earth will 
ever be right with me again. I had much better be dead. Every- 
body will be ashamed of me, and scold me, and preach at me; and I 
shall be a byword and a reproach." 

Montana was not glad when, after leaving the two girls together, 
he was told that Captain Marion was in the house, had come with 
Miss Rowan, and wished to see him. Montana could hardly ever 
be described as disconcerted, but he was a little displeased at the 
news. He was not anxious to see Marion just then. He was not 
pleased to hear that Marion had come with Geraldine. Much of 
the dramatic effect of Geraldine's prompt answer to his summons 
would be taken away by her having come under the escort of 
Captain Marion. Then, again, he did not know whether Marion's 
return to town so suddenly might not have something ominous in it 
All the time while he was reasoning with Melissa, and humouring 
her, and keeping up an appearance of the utmost calmness, his 
mind was far from being composed. No shadow on his face allowed 
the girl to suppose for a moment that there was anything to alarm him 
in the news she brought from the north. But he felt all the time 
that there probably was something in it Of late he had begun to 
be conscious more or less vaguely that Trescoe disliked him. We 
have said already that Montana was not habitually an observant 
man, for the reason that he did not take sufficient interest in 
people in general to be observant of what they did or how they 
looked. But when anything aroused his interest, or his admira- 
tion, or his suspicion, then he could be keenly and closely observant, 
and he could look quite through the deeds of men or of women, 
unless they were men and women with souls deep and well guarded 
indeed. He saw that Trescoe disliked him, and that there was some- 
ling inexorable inTrescoe's dislike ; and he credited the young man 

The Comet of a Season. 151 

with much greater strength of will and purpose than those around 
him, even his wife and his father-in-law, were disposed to believe in. 
Naturally he was a little uneasy about young Fanshawe's share in 
the inquiries, whatever they were, now going on in the north. An 
exposure, or even a public inquiry of any kind, might be fatal to 
him just now. He knew that Geraldine suspected him, but that 
he did not heed. On the contrary, he thought he could give 
Geraldine some reasons for all that he had done which would satisfy 
her at least of his strength of purpose, and show her that he had 
a meaning in everything he said or did, and thus increase the 
influence which he already began to see that he was gaining over her 
mind He had determined on making Geraldine his confidante. 
He knew well, from his experience of women, that a man can have no 
stronger hold over a woman than to confide to her some strange 
secret which deeply concerns him, and which no mortal knows but 
he and she alone. He had resolved to tell Geraldine something 
that very night which would have startled her ; and now that Captain 
Marion had come there was no chance of a conversation of five 
minutes alone with her. 

He went to meet Marion with his usual composure, although un- 
certain whether he was about to meet friend or enemy. He smiled 
his usual sweet and serene smile. It had done duty with Marion 
before, and did not fail even now. There was something strangely 
fascinating to the few who were privileged to see it when that cold, 
beautiful, marble-like face was suddenly brightened with a smile of 
peculiar sweetness which seemed to have a special welcome in it 

Marion, on his part, was a litde embarrassed, and awkward, and 
cold. He felt as if his friend had a right to reproach him because 
he had listened to any inquiries or suspicions about him, and he was 
not certain whether Montana might not have heard something of 
this, and might not show it in his manner. Then, he was perplexed 
by Montana's peremptory summons to Geraldine. Remembering 
Geraldine's appeal to him, he felt as if he ought to act from the 
beginning in the character of a protector to her against advances 
which she declared to be unwelcome. 

So the friends met on altered terms. But Montana's smile had 
its usual effect upon Marion, and they shook hands as though 
nothing had happened to keep them apart. Montana came to the 
point at once. He never talked commonplaces. He never spoke 
of die fine weather, or greeted a newly-arriving friend with the in. 
disputable truism, " So you've got back 1 " 
■ "I have heard," he said, " something of what has been going on 

152 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

among your friends in the north. So they think they have found out 
something about me, do they ? Well, I am neither disturbed nor 
offended. If they make inquiry keen enough, they may find out a 
good many things about me that the world has not known. But 
without any boasting, Marion, I think they will find out nothing to 
do me any great discredit." 

" That I believe to the full," Marion said earnestly. " I am 
almost ashamed to have been there at all, and listened to any of 
their talk ; but I came away, Montana, that is the truth, because I 
could not stand any more of it." 

" Well, don't let us talk of that," Montana said. " It is really of 
no consequence. It was not for that I sent for Miss Rowan. I 
did not know you were in town, Marion. I heard of all this in 
a strange sort of way. An unexpected messenger came and told 
me. It is a strange story, but many things in my life have been 
strange. If some suspect me and are untrue to me — some from 
whom I might have looked for better things, some are devoted to me 
to whose devotion I had no manner of claim. There is a sweet, 
generous, fond, foolish young woman in that room yonder whom I 
wished to give into Geraldine's charge. I give her now into yours." 

" Good God !" Marion exclaimed, as for a moment a thought 
terrible to him passed through his mind. " Who is it ? " 

Pained as he was to hear of Melissa, and of her foolish flight, yet 
it was an unspeakable relief to him to hear only of Melissa. 

" I need not ask you, I suppose, why the poor girl did this?" 

"No," Montana said, "you need not. You can guess. But 
believe one thing, Marion — I had nothing to do with it. I hardly 
ever spoke a dozen words at a time to the young lady. But some 
young women of that age must always be romantic." 

" Yes, I suppose so. If it is not the curate or the music-master, it 
must be the first good-looking stranger that turns up. We must take 
her home to her father." 

" Do what you think best," Montana said. " I need not ask you 
to be kind to her. What she did was done out of mere generosity. 
I know Geraldine will be kind to her. I shan't see her again. I 
shall go out and not return till late at night, when I can feel certain 
that you and she are gone. I have something to say to you some 
other time about Miss Rowan, but that will keep. Good-night." 

Marion clasped his hand with increasing warmth of friendship. 
In his eyes, now, Montana was invested more than ever with heroic 
and noble attributes. He now understood why Montana had sent 
for Geraldine, and why he had sent for her in that peremptory and 

7 DigitizedfyV^ * 

The Cotnet of a Season. 153 

mysterious manner. He appreciated all the delicacy of his conduct 
and his words with regard to poor Melissa, and he felt satisfied 
that no plottings, pfennings, or investigations could find out any- 
thing about Montana that was not to Montana's honour. 

Presently Geraldine sent for him, and he went to her, and found 
Melissa in an unabashed and defiant mood. She declared that, do 
what he would, she would never go home. Geraldine and Marion 
did their best to soothe her, and to promise her that everything 
should be done to save her from any distress. Mr. Aquitaine was 
to be telegraphed to at once, in order to relieve him from alarm. 
Everything was to be made as smooth as possible — Marion would 
take care of that. Everything should be put in the gentlest way — 
Geraldine and Marion would take the responsibility of all that had 
been done. It is to be feared that Captain Marion sometimes went 
a little beyond the strict limits of the possible or the credible in his 
assurances that there were numberless ways of making the whole 
afiair seem the simplest and most natural thing in the world to Mr. 
Aquitaine. Marion's heart misgave him even while he was most 
earnestly endeavouring to reassure the obstinate little fugitive. 

Melissa herself gave unhesitating expression to her utter 

u Suppose," she said scornfully, " that we tell my father I got 
into the train by mistake, thinking it was a picture-gallery? He 
would be sure to believe that Or why not say that I was walking in 
my sleep ? Nothing is more common than for a girl to walk in her 
sleep ; I have seen all sorts of odd stories in newspapers about such 
things. Or can't we say that Geraldine telegraphed for me to fly at 
once to her side, because she wanted my advice about a wedding 
dress ? There are lots of explanations." 

" We don't mean to tell lies, Melissa," Captain Marion said, a 
little angrily. 

" Oh, don't we ? I thought we did. If we don't, I am afraid 
we can't make much of it." 

She was truly an unmanageable little object of sympathy. At 
last, however, she consented to go to Captain Marion's house. 

" Let's have it all out at once," she said ; " let Sydney preach at 
me, to begin with." 

" Sydney shan't say a word to you," Marion declared sharply. 

" And Katherine, too, will be glad to see me. We were in the 
same boat, I rather think, only she had the good luck not to fall out, 
and have to be rescued and pulled ashore, and made an object of 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

154 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" For shame, Melissa, to talk in such a way! " Geraldine remon- 
strated, with something like anger in her voice. Marion was silent 
With all his kindliness of nature and his pity for Melissa, he did at 
that moment think her a very wicked little girl. 

But it made no difference in his treatment of her, in his patient, 
gentle way with her. Geraldine felt her heart swell with gratefulness 
and affection for him. 

As they drove away from the fated house, Melissa gave one 
wild sad look back. Then she shrank into a corner of the carriage 
and was silent for a few moments. No one spoke. Suddenly she 
looked up. 

" Mind, I am not going home," she said energetically. " I go 
with you now, Captain Marion and Geraldine ; but I'll not go back 
to my father's house ; no, never, never, never. I don't care what is 
said or what is done ; I'll not go home again." 

The next morning Mr. Varlowe was buried. He was laid in a 
graveyard two or three miles out of London, clear of the streets and 
the crush of traffic, and the brick and mortar, and the fogs. The 
funeral was very quiet Clement particularly desired that but few 
persons should be present. Montana was there, and Captain Marion, 
and one or two others, and that was all. 

Clement did not exchange a word with Montana. They merely 
shook hands, and Montana's grasp expressed as much sympathy and 
kindliness and encouragement as a mere clasp of the hand could 
well be made to express. But he said nothing, and Clement seemed 
to avoid looking directly at him. To Captain Marion Clement said 
a few words, telling him frankly that he wished to be alone for a day 
or two, and to remain behind in the churchyard when the rest had 
gone. They appreciated his humour, and went away as soon as the 
grim ceremonial was over, and Clement was led alone. He stayed 
for some time in the cemetery, and looked sadly enough over the fair 
landscape spread out before him, the soft sloping hills and pleasant 
fields and gentle waters steeped in the sunlight of late summer. It 
was his humour to be alone there, and to walk home alone. The 
few miles of walk, he thought, would give him strength, and bring 
refreshment to his souL He wanted to be alone, and to look the 
past and future steadily in the face, and prepare to meet life in his 
own strength. An absolute change, such as years might not have 
made, had taken place in him within the last few days. Before Mr. 
Varlowe grew ill he was still but a boy, with a boy's vague sentiments 
and whims and ways, and now he had turned completely into a man. 
He felt as he walked home that 

the time had come for emerging 

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The Comet of a Season. 155 

straightway out of the cloud of half-poetic illusion and dream and 
sensuous intellectual reverie, and that he must make for himself a 
strong and a useful career. Of his passion for Melissa Aquitaine 
there was nothing led now. The rude wind of misfortune which had 
blown across him had swept that emotion away, as a gust of wind may 
sweep a faded flower from a window. It was too unreal and sickly a 
little passion to bear the keen atmosphere of genuine pain. He was 
conscious that the feeling was gone, and he was glad of it. He 
looked back on that stage of his existence with a sort of shamefaced 
pity. It seemed strange to him now that anyone could think 
seriously of Melissa Aquitaine, or fail to see her weaknesses, and her 
faults, and her incapacity for understanding anything serious or 

He reached his lonely house. He opened the door with his 
latch-key and let himself in. He stood for a moment at a window 
that looked out upon the garden, and thought of the evening, which 
now seemed so long ago and yet was so very recent, when he stood 
at the same window with Geraldine Rowan. In all his suffering and 
sorrow, as he re-entered that house, spectral with the memory of the 
dead, he could not help recalling that evening, and thinking of the 
pew and strange sensations which had come up within him when he 
saw her there, and looked into her kindly sympathetic eyes. 

(To be continued.) 

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FEW of the subjects with which modern science has had, and 
still has, to deal, are more interesting than the inquiry into 
the changes which a language gradually and, as it were, uncon- 
sciously undergoes, even among a people occupying one and the 
same region, and apparently exposed to few and slight changes from 
without. No one who considers the variety of dialect within our 
own country at the present time, or the evidence of continual change 
in the English tongue, from the time when it was first known as a 
written language, can fail to perceive that, apart from external 
influences (though, of course, such influences have not been want- 
ing in England), a language is in a state of continual flux — in pro- 
nunciation, in the use and meaning of words, in manner of expression, 
idiom, and in various other respects. 

The characteristics which distinguish the dialects of the northern 
from those of the midland and southern counties of England, or 
even the dialects of adjacent counties (as Lancashire and Yorkshire, 
Somersetshire and Devonshire, or Dorsetshire and Hampshire) from 
each other, were manifestly not the growth of a few years, but of 
centuries. The progress of our language from the earliest Anglo- 
Saxon days to our own time is, of course, recorded in the literature 
of the nation, which, carefully studied, reveals not only the more 
obvious influences of such causes as the Norman conquest and the 
sequent intercourse with France, but also the subtler changes which 
belong to the inherent growth of our language. 

It is easy to perceive also how the spread of education has had 
its influence — and a very powerful influence — in checking changes 
which otherwise would have been rapid. We find, for instance, that 
in earlier times, books written in the English of the day, being read 
by few, had small influence in stereotyping, as it were, the use of 
words or phrases. But the writings of later times, and especially 
those of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (above all, the 
translation of the Bible in the reign of James I.), have had a most 
marked effect in preventing rapid changes in the language. The 

r ° Digitized byVjtjOgie 

English and American English. 157 

reason is obvious. Few read the earlier works, many read the later, 
and still more hear them read or quoted, and more still come into 
contact with those who have read them. So that the words and 
modes of expression in the later works remain current from genera- 
tion to generation, while many of those in the earlier works have 
become obsolete. 

Yet it is to be noticed that even this influence, potent though it 
unquestionably has been, has not prevented change altogether. In 
fact, it is clear that with the lapse of time its power must diminish. 
In the eighteenth century, for instance — but still more in the latter 
half of the seventeenth century — modes of expression used in James's 
Bible and in the Book of Common Prayer (which, though older, 
may be regarded as belonging to the same era in our language) were 
still employed in ordinary life ; and the fact that they were so often 
heard in church, chapel, and conventicle, helped to retain them in 
such usage. But when once an expression had fallen out of use — 
which would happen even in the case of some expressions once 
familiarly employed — Bible reading and the weekly use of prayers, 
collects, epistles, gospels, psalms, and so forth, could not restore it 
to general circulation. The number of words, modes of expression, 
idioms, &c, which have thus passed out of use necessarily increases 
with the lapse of time, and in time, of course, the book which had 
for a longer or shorter time prevented so many expressions from 
becoming obsolete, would become obsolete itself. A new translation 
would, in other words, become necessary — not, as in the case of the pre- 
sent revised translation, because of increased knowledge of the original 
and increased facilities for interpreting it, but because the language of 
the Bible would have ceased to be the language of the people. 1 

It may be interesting to consider the various ways in which 
words, phrases, and expressions have fallen out of use since the time 
when the present English version of the Bible was prepared. 

Some modes of expression seem to have died out without any 
very obvious cause. For instance, in the time of James I. the words 
"all to " were used where we now say " altogether." So completely 
has the former usage passed away, that most persons understand the 
words "and all to brake his scull" (when read aloud) as if they 
meant " and all to break his scull ;" in reality, of course, the words 
1 It appears to me a circumstance to be regretted that those who have been 
at so much pains to revise the Bible, should not have been bold enough to present 
their revised version in the English of our own time, instead of the old-fashioned 
English of the time of Elizabeth and James. This, perhaps, is the first occasion 
in the history of Bible translation when men have expressed Bible teachings in a 
language such as they do not themselves speak. 

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158 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

mean "and utterly crushed his scull." Other words and phrases 
have lost their original meaning in consequence of the growth 
(usually in literature) of another significance. For instance, as the 
word "comprehend" gradually approximated in meaning to the 
word " understand," with which it is now almost synonymous, its old 
usage, shown in the Bible expression " the darkness comprehended 
it not" (that is, the darkness did not enclose and overmaster or 
absorb 1 the light), was gradually lost ; at the present day, no one 
would think of using the word in its older and, in reality, more 
correct sense. In other cases, words have acquired a meaning 
almost opposite to that which they had when the Book of Common 
Prayer and the present English version of the Bible were prepared. 
Thus, we now use the word "prevent" as almost synonymous with 
" hinder "; but it is used in the opposite sense in the familiar prayer 
beginning " Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings." So the word 
"let," which formerly corresponded very nearly with "hinder" or 
"prevent" (as at present used), now implies the reverse; so that 
there was nothing strange originally in the prayer that we might not 
be " let or hindered," though now the expression is certainly con- 
tradictory and perplexing (especially to the younger church-goers). 
Some words and phrases, without having taken a new meaning, or 
even lost their old meaning, have fallen out of use in ordinary speech 
or in prose writing, but are still freely used in poetry. Other phrases 
or usages have come to be regarded as ungrammatical — such, for 
instance, as the use of the word " often " for " frequent" (" Take a 
little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.*)* 

As regards pronunciation, it would be difficult to follow and 
interpret all the changes which have taken place. Of some changes, 
indeed, we have no recorded evidence, while of others the evidence 
is but vague and doubtful If the spelling, instead of being left free 
to individual fancy in former times, had been fixed as now, it would 
yet be (as it certainly is at present) no guide whatever to pronuncia- 
tion. And, in passing, it may be noticed that the advocates of a 
phonetic system of spelling might find a strong argument in the 
circumstance that such a system would enable the philologist of the 
future to trace the various changes which pronunciation will hereafter 

1 Con intensative, and prehendo to grasp or seize. 

■ Compare Jaques' words, "It is a melancholy of my own", compounded of 
many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation 
of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humourous 
sadness." In passing, note here the obsolete use of the words sundry and 

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English and American English. 159 

undergo : while had such a system been adopted in the past, we 
could form now a fair idea of the way in which our ancestors during 
different centuries of our past history spoke the English language of 
their day. 

There are, however, some indications which afford tolerably sure 
evidence as to particular changes which the pronunciation of certain 
words has undergone. 

For instance, remembering that many of our words have been 
derived directly from the French, but have been spelt, almost from their 
introduction, in an English manner, we can infer what was the ordinary 
sound-value of particular letters, singly or together. Thus, since the 
French words "raison" and "saison" are represented in English by 
the words " reason n and " season, 1 ' we may infer that the diphthong 
" ea w originally represented the sound which it still represents in the 
word " great" For we can be tolerably sure that the change has 
been in the English, not in the French, pronunciation of these words. 
There is no reason for supposing that in French the letters " ai " repre- 
sent the sound e, as do the letters " ea " in " reason " or " season." In 
fact, " ai " never could represent the sound e. We infer, then, that the 
change has been in the English, and that two or three centuries ago 
the words " reason " and u season " were pronounced " rayson n and 
" sayson," as they still are in Ireland (not, as is commonly supposed, 
because in Ireland the pronunciation has been corrupted, but because 
there the old-fashioned pronunciation has been retained). We find 
thus an explanation of certain words and passages in old writings that 
otherwise seem perplexing. For instance, Falstaff says in reply to the 
request of Hal and Poinsfor " a reason," "What, upon compulsion. 
.... Give you a reason on compulsion? if reasons were as plenty 
as blackberries I would give no man a reason on compulsion ! " a 
meaningless rejoinder, at least compared with the same answer when 
the word " reason n is pronounced like the word " raisin." l So the 
" nipping and eager air," spoken of in Hamlet, becomes intelligible 

1 There are reasons for thinking that in many cases the letters " ee, M as well 
as " ea," had the sound " ai " in Shakespeare's time. Thus the two lines- 
She was a wight if ever such wight were 
To suckle fools and chronicle small beer — 

probably formed a rhyming couplet. So also, probably, the lines 
If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed ; 
If not, 'tis true this parting was weU made. 

As the word " indeed n is pronounced " indade " in Ireland, there is reason for 
regarding it as belonging to the same category as saison, raison, mane, baste, 
Uy t &c 

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160 The Gentleman* } s Magazine. 

only when the word " eager " is pronounced " aygre," and so seems 
to be identical with the French " aigre," sharp or biting. If further 
evidence were required to show that formerly the letters "ea" repre- 
sented the sound of "a" as in "fate,* it would be found in the fact 
that in Pepys's Diary the word "skate" is spelled in one place 
"skeat," in another, "scate." It is clear, again, that the word 
"beast "was pronounced "bayst," though the play on the words 
"best" and "beast" in " Midsummer-Night's Dream" (see the com- 
ments on Pyramus and Thisbe as represented by Bottom, Quince, 
and Company) is not made much clearer by the change. Still, 
" bayst " is nearer in sound than " beast " to the word " best," even 
as now pronounced, and probably best was formerly pronounced 
with a longer and more open " e " sound than now. 

In passing, we may ask how the word " master " was originally 
pronounced, for this word was often spelt "mester," though oftener 
" maister " and maystre." Derived from the French " maftre " (con- 
tracted from " maistre," as in the old French), we can have little if 
any doubt that the word was originally pronounced " mayster," which 
would as readily be corrupted in one .direction into "mester" and 
" mister," as, in the other direction, into the modern pronunciation, 
" master " (" a " as in " father," not as in " fat "). It is probable that 
the Scottish pronunciation of the word is much nearer to that pre- 
valent in England three centuries ago, and still nearer that prevalent 
in the time of Chaucer and Gower, than is our modern English pro- 

In a similar way other vowel sounds might be discussed, but this 
would take me too far from my subject — which, indeed, I have not 
yet reached. Before passing to it let me note, however, that conso- 
nantal as well as vowel sounds have undergone alteration in England 
during the last few centuries. We have evidence of this in the 
familiar passage in "Love's Labour's Lost," where exception is 
taken by the pedant to the pronunciation " nebour " for " neighbour," 
"cauf" for "calf," and so forth, showing that formerly the letters 
" gh " in "neighbour" and other such words were sounded (probably 
gutturally, as in the Scottish "lough," &c), and that the letter "1" 
was sounded in many words in which it is now silent 1 It may be 

1 There are good reasons for believing that the letter " r " was formerly pro- 
nounced much more fully than at present. Certainly our modern " r " could not 
properly be called the " dog's letter,'* as the nur«e in Komeo and Juliet tells us it 
was called (" r is for the dog," &c). Wc may thus explain the play on words in 
the passage where Celia ridicules the affected pronunciation of Monsieur Le Beau. 
" Fair princess/' he says, " you have lost much good sport " (not pronouncing 
the "r" rollingly, as was doubtless then the fashion, but "spoV" : to which 
Celia replies, " Spot ! of what colour?" to the perplexity of^Le Beau, as to that 

English and American English. 161 

noticed, however, that "I" had become silent in some words in 
past times to which it has now been restored. For instance, most 
persons now pronounce the letter " 1 " in the name Ralph, probably 
because the name is oftener seen than heard ; formerly this name 
was always pronounced Rafe or RahC So, it is clear from a well- 
known passage in the play of " Henry VI." (only in small part from 
Shakespeare's hand) that the name " Walter" was formerly pronounced 
"Water" — as, indeed, might almost have been inferred from its 
former abbreviation into Wat — for, if it had been pronounced Walter, 
the natural abbreviation would have been Wally or WaTr (as Captain 
Cuttle called Walter Gay). The prophecy that the Earl of Suffolk 
would " die by water " would certainly not have been regarded as 
fulfilled when he was beheaded by the order of Captain Walter, if 
the name had not been pronounced " Water" in those times. 1 

of many readers of Shakespeare. In passing, it may be noticed that many passages 
in Shakespeare are rendered obscure by changes of pronunciation. Thus, where 
Beatrice says : " The Count is neither 'sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well ; but 
civil Count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion," we are 
apt to overlook the play on the words " civil " and " Seville." 
1 The passage runs thus :— 

Suf. Look on my George, I am a gentleman ; 
Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid. 
Whit. And so am I ; my name is Walter Whitmore. 
How now ? Why start'st thou ? What, doth death affright ? 
Suf. Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death. 
A cunning man did calculate my birth, 
And told me that by water I should die. 
Yet let not this make thee be bloody minded ; 
Thy name is Gualtitr, being righlly sounded. 
Whit. Gualtkr or Walter^ which it is I care not, &c 
This reference to the sound of the word leaves no doubt that it was formerly 
pronounced Water. (So Giialtier is sounded Guautier, and has come to be spelt 

And here it may be asked whether the word " halter " was not formerly pro- 
nounced hauler (rhyming with daughter \ water, &c). For Lear's Fool sings: 
A fox when one has caught her, 
And such a daughter 
Should sure to the slaughter, 
If my cap could buy a halter, 
So the fool follows after. 
" After, w probably pronounced as by the vulgar in our own time, aUer. That " f " 
before " t w was silent in common speaking seems shown by Wat Whitmore 's 
remark to Suffolk : *' Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee (wa't thee) to thy death." 
Nursery rhymes may perhaps seem an unlikely source of information respect- 
ing pronunciation, yet there are good reasons for believing that many old usages 
are preserved in those ancient rhymes. In particular, we may be sure that the 
VOUCCLI. NO. l8o8, M 

1 62 The Gentiematis Magazine. 

These considerations respecting the changes which our language 
has undergone — perhaps nowhere more than in the neighbourhood of 
the metropolis — have been suggested to my mind by certain remarks 
made by an American writer — Mr. F. R Wilkie, of the Chicago 
Times— respecting our English way of pronouncing the English 
language as compared with the American method, which he regards 
as on the whole more correct. 

I must premise that Mr. Wilkie's work, "Sketches beyond the 
Sea," though it opens in a tone very unfavourable to the English 
people, shows considerable fairness, on the whole. English manners 
are not perhaps calculated to impress strangers favourably at a first 
view. It may not be generally true that, as Mr. Wilkie says, "one 
who visits a strange country encounters first its most repellent 
qualities,"— in fact, the contrary is sometimes the case ; but this is 
certainly true of England and the English. Mr. Wilkie is justified 
in saying that his " fault-finding is confined to what may be termed 
the external character of the English," and in adding " that there is 
no partisanship in his views, because he has nowhere failed to 
denounce the weaknesses and follies of his own countrymen when- 
ever the opportunity to do so fairly presented itself." Of this the 
following humorous passage, which bears in some degree on the 
question of the American way of speaking English, may be cited in 
illustration : — 

" If there be any particular thing which is calculated to make an American 
homesick, to make him feel he is indeed in a foreign clime, it is the entire absence 
of profanity. " (Would this were as true as it is complimentary !) " Except what 

I may have overheard in a few soliloquies, I have not heard an oath since my 
arrival in England. The cabman does not swear at you," (he does, though, when 
he has a mind?) " nor the policeman, nor the railway employe, nor anybody else. 
Nobody in an ordinary conversation on the weather, or in asking after someone's 
location, or inquiring after another's health, employs from three to five oaths to 

rhyming, if not perfect, would be such as to appeal readily to the ear. Now, in 
Jack and Jill we find " after " rhymed to *< water." 

In passing, it may be noticed that in Shakespeare's time the "1" in " would " 
and " should " was probably sounded. For if " would " were then pronounced 
as in our time, " wou'd," we should scarcely find " wouldest" abbreviated into 

II woul't," as in Hamlet, Act v. s. I : 

Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast ? woul't tear thyself? 
Woul't drink up esil ? eat a crocodile ? &c. 
In further illustration may be quoted the old lines on ihe vanity of human pride, 
inscribe 1 on the ruined gate of Melrose Abbey, from which we learn that cither 
the •■ 1 " was sounded in " would " or dropped in •• gold " : 

The earth goes on the earth glittering with gold ; 
The earth goes to the earth sooner than it would, &c, 

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English ana Atnerican English. 163 

every sentence. It's rather distressing to an American to get used to this state of 
things ; to talk to a man for three or four minutes, and never hear a single 
1 d n ' ; to wander all day through the populous streets and not hear a soli- 
tary curse ; to go anywhere and everywhere, and not be stirred up once by so 
much as the weakest of blasphemies. What wonder that the average American 
becomes homesick under such a deprivation, and that he longs for the freedom 
and curses of his penary home ? w 

Mr. Wilkie, finding that many words are pronounced otherwise 
in England than in America, and starting with the assumption that 
the American usage is correct where such differences exist, arrives at 
the conclusion that England " is rapidly losing its knowledge of 
English." " I have no less an authority than Earl Manville," he 
says, " for the statement that educated Americans speak the English 
language far better than educated Englishmen." I have yet to learn 
that Earl Manville is a very high authority on this particular question, 
whether from his exceptional knowledge of the English language, or 
from the opportunities he has had of comparing the way in which 
that language is spoken in England and in America. Not for the 
present considering pronunciation, and taking the English of those 
who are recognised as the best writers in that language as the best, 
it is, I believe, incontestable that on the whole a thoroughly educated 
Englishman speaks the language more correctly than even the best 
educated Americans ; only it is to be noticed under what reservation 
I make this assertion. There are usages which have become recog- 
nised in America, and are adopted by the best American writers, and 
which are thus correct in that country \ though not in accordance with 
the rules which — tacitly or otherwise — English writers follow. They 
are correct in this sense, that they are in accordance with general 
custom, "quem penes arbitrium est, et jus et norma loquendi." 
And although it may be admitted that some few of these usages 
belong in reality to the English of two or three centuries ago, it can- 
not be denied that many, if not most of them, are recent. I am here 
speaking of the form and construction of the language, not of pro- 
nunciation. As to this, it must be admitted that there is room for 
doubt respecting many of those points in which the two countries 
differ. As regards a few doubtful words, it would be scarcely worth 
while to inquire, but there are whole classes of words which are 
differently pronounced in the two countries, and it is in many cases 
doubtful whether the older (which may be considered the true pro- 
nunciation) has been retained in the old country or in the new. 

11 1 have no doubt whatever," says Mr. Wilkie, " that were a wall 
built between England and America, so that there could be no inter- 

M 2 

1 64 The Gentleman $ Magazine. 

course, in two or three hundred years a native of one country could 
not understand a word spoken by the other." Setting aside the 
manifest exaggeration here, and supposing for a moment that, contrary 
to all experience, so short a time as three centuries would suffice to 
render the English of America unintelligible to the people of 
England, and the English of England unintelligible to the people of 
America, it would be altogether absurd to infer, with Mr. Wilkie, 
that " this would be because England is rapidly losing its knowledge 
of English." Nor is there the least reason for supposing, as Mr. 
Wilkie does, that it is because " England has no dictionary, or, what 
amounts to the same thing, has a dozen," that the language under- 
goes continual change. No dictionary, however excellent, can 
stereotype a language, either as to the usage of words or their 
pronunciation. 1 In America changes are taking place at least as fast 
as in England, probably faster. Mr. Wilkie found, he says (though 
one wonders where he can have obtained such experience), that 
there are in England about as many standards of pronunciation as 
there are people who have anything to say. He is referring all the 
time, be it understood, to educated Englishmen. Yet he can point 
only to a few words, most of which are seldom used ; whereas any 
Englishman who has travelled much in America could cite dozens of 
words, all in ordinary use, which are diversely pronounced there by 
educated persons. Thus, I have heard the word " inquiry " pro- 
nounced "inquiry," "quandary" pronounced "quandary," "vagary" 
" vagary," 2 "towards" and " afterwards " pronounced with the stress 
on the last syllable, " very " and " American " pronounced " vury " and 
" Amurican " (u as in " furry "), and so forth, by educated Americans ; 
while other educated Americans pronounce these words as they are 
usually pronounced in England. " Gladstone says issoo" remarks 
Mr. Wilkie, "when other intelligent men say isshu" He might 
have added that Lord John Russell used to say " obleeged," as many 
old folks do still, and that the question was once raised in the House 
of Lords whether the word " wrapt " should be pronounced to rhyme 
with "apt n or with " propt." As a matter of fact, however, Mr. Glad- 
stone does not say "issoo," but "issyou," which is probably correct; 

1 If Mr. Wilkie had been at the pains to look over the introductory matter in 
Webster's Dictionary, he would have found that in quite a number of cases where 
he — Mr. Wilkie— finds fault with English pronunciation, Webster is against 

2 We see here the effects of the tendency in English speaking to throw back 
the accent In England we have " contrary'* now instead of "contrary" as in 
Shakespeare's time: compare also the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, quite 

English and American English. 165 

at any rate, as much can be said in its favour as in favour of " ishyou." 
Of course "issoo" and "isshu," the two pronunciations given by 
Mr. Wilkie, are both as utterly wrong as " Toosday " or " Dook," 
modes of pronunciation, by the way, which are very commonly heard 
in America. 

As the point is considered next by Mr. Wilkie, though not next in 
logical sequence, I may consider here his reference to the pronuncia- 
tion of certain proper names in England which are spelled (and he 
considers should be pronounced) very differently. Of words of this 
kind he cites : 

" Colquhoun — pronounced Calhoun— (really pronounced Cohoon); 
Cockburn, pronounced Coburn; Beauchamp, pronounced Beechem; 
Derby, Darby ; Berkley, Barkley ; Hertford, HefFord (where can he 
have heard this? Hartford, of course, is the accepted pronunciation) ; 
Cholmondeley, Chumley ; Bouverie, Booberie (an unknown version); 
Greenwich, Grinnidge ; Woolwich, Woolidge ; Harwich, Harridge ; 
Ludgate, Luggat (by cabmen, possibly) ; High Holborn, Eye Oburn 
(cabmen, certainly) ; Whitechapel, Witchipel (never) ; Mile End, 
Meelen (possibly by a Scotch cabman) ; Gloucester, Gloster ; 
Leicester, Lester ; Pall Mall, Pell Mell." 

He might have added " Marjoribanks, Marchbanks ; Cavendish, 
Candish ; Salisbury, Salsbury," and a host of other names. But he 
mistakes greatly in supposing (as he appears to do) that these diver- 
gences between pronunciation and spelling have had their origin 
since America began — whether we regard America as beginning 
in the days of the Pilgrim Fathers, or of the War of Independence. 
Some of them are at least five hundred years older than the States. 
But without expecting from every visitor the antiquarian knowledge 
necessary to establish the antiquity of the older of these modes of 
pronunciation, we might fairly expect that a literary man should be 
acquainted with the fact, that Shakespeare knew no trisyllabic Glou- 
cester or Salisbury, that with him Warwick was Warrik, Abergavenny 
Abergany, and so forth. 

If aught of blame is deserved for the continued use of old forms 
of spelling when the old modes of pronunciation have passed away, 
or for any divergence (no matter how caused) between pronunciation 
and spelling, we may meet the American with a tu quoque ; we may 

say to him — 

Mutalo nomine, de te 
Fabula narratur. 

For either within the brief duration of our cousins' own history, the 
pronunciation of many proper names has diverged from their 

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1 66 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

spelling, or else those names were originally most incorrectly spelled. 
How otherwise does it happen that the trueborn American speaks of 
Connetticut instead of Connecticut, of Cincinnatah instead of 
Cincinnatti, of Mishigan, Mizzouri (in the South and West, Missouri 
is called Mizzoorah), Sheecahgo, Arkansaw, Terryhote, and Movey 
Star, instead of Michigan, Missouri, Chicago, Arkansas, Terre- 
haute, and Mauvaises Terres (pronouncing the last two words as 

Taking other than proper names, Mr. Wilkie seems scarcely to 
have caught in many cases the true English pronunciation. For 
instance, one of the most marked differences between English pro- 
nunciation and that with which Mr. Wilkie would have become 
familiar at Chicago, is found in the sound of the vowel "a" in such 
words as " bath," " path," " class," &c. Now, although he mentions 
in one place that the "a" in the word "classes" is pronounced like 
the " a " in " father," (which is right), he adds even there that the 
sound of the word is almost like " closses," which is altogether wrong ; 
while elsewhere he says that the " a " is pronounced like the " a " in 
" all," or as " aw." He gives " nawsty " as the English pronuncia- 
tion of the word " nasty." He says, " an Englishman must inform 
some of his acquaintances during each day something about his bath, 
the a being sounded like a in all. Of course, no educated English- 
man ever pronounces the "a" in "bath," "path," &c. like the "a" 
in "all ;" nor, indeed, have I ever heard an uneducated Englishman 
so speak, though it is likely enough there may be dialects having 
this pronunciation. In fact, the story of the clergyman who, when 
asked whether he would be bishop of Bath or of Wells, answered 
" Bawth, my Lord," and so became the first Bishop of Bath and 
Wells, whether true or false as a story, serves to show that the word is 
sometimes pronounced " bawth." But certainly this is not the usual 
way of pronouncing it in this country. To American or rather to 
Western ears there must, it should seem, be some resemblance 
between the sound of "a" in "class," "path," &c, as Englishmen 
pronounce the vowel, and the sound of the vowel "o"; for I 
remember that when once in Illinois I asked where the " office clerk " 
was, the office clock was shown to me. It is, by the way, somewhat 
difficult to understand how the "e" in the words clerk, Derby, 
Hertford, &c, has come in England to have the sound of " a " in 
class, father, &c. So far as I know, this usage is nowhere followed 
in America. 1 But the pronunciation of "a" in bath, class, &c, 

1 The fact that the proper name Clark (which is unquestionably the equivalent 
of clerk) has been for hundreds of years in use in England, shows that the pro- 
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English and American English. 1 67 

like "a" in "father," though it seems to have sounded strange in 
Mr. Wiikie's Western ears, is common enough— is, indeed, the 
accepted usage— in the Eastern States. It is also the usage sanc- 
tioned by Webster. 

It is hardly necessary to say that Mr. Wilkie represents the omission 
and misuse of the aspirate as though they were as common amongst 
the educated as among the uneducated classes of this country. A 
hasty reader might, indeed, rashly infer from some passages in Mr. 
Wiikie's book that there is a difference between the ignorant and the 
decently educated in this respect For instance, in a rather over- 
drawn scene in Westminster Hall, a policeman tells Mr. Wilkie and 
Mr. Hatton to " pass into the 'all ; " to which, not Mr. Wilkie, but the 
Englishman, Mr. Hatton, replies, " Pass into the 'all ! I say, Bobby, 
my boy, you dropped something. You dropped an aitch. But 
never mind i You just go into the House, and you'll find the floor 
covered with aitchcs dropped by the members. You can find there 
twice as many as you've lost here. Pass into the '*— a — alll " But 
then it is only to be inferred from this, that by associating with his 
American friend Mr. Wilkie, Mr. Hatton had learned to speak more 
correctly than other Englishmen. It was in this way that Americans 
explained the fact that Mrs. Trollope used the aspirate correctly. 
And to this day it is the prevalent (and almost universal) opinion in 
America that all Englishmen, educated as well as uneducated, drop 
their aitchcs^ and insert aitches where none should be. I have been 
gravely assured time and again by Americans, claiming at any rate to 
be decently well-informed, that I have no trace left of the " English 
accent," which they explain as chiefly to be known by omitted and 
misused aspirates. They neither know, for the most part, .that the 
omission or misuse of the aspirate is as offensive to the English as to 
the American ear, (more so, indeed, for to the American it is simply 
laughable, while to the English ear it is painful), nor that the habit is 
to all intents and purposes incurable whenever it has once been 
formed. An Englishman who, owing to imperfect education or early 
association with the ignorant, has acquired what Americans regard 
as the English accent, may indeed learn to put in a sort of aspirate 
in words beginning with aitch, but it is an aspirate of an objection- 
able kind — fully as offensive as an aspirate in 'heir, 'hour, and 'hon- 

nunciation Clark is hundreds of years old. So also the existence of an American 
Hartford shows that the Pilgrim Fathers called Hertford Hartford. Probably the 
•'a" in such words as Clark, farm, &c, had originally the sound of "a" in 
" care." Indeed, if we consider the French origin of these words we see that 
this must have been so. 

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1 68 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

our. Thackeray touches on this in one of his shorter sketches. The 
habit of using aspirates in the wrong place may perhaps be more 
easily cured ; but as this habit is only found among the very ignorant, 
while the habit of dropping the aspirate is much more widely spread, 
the opportunities for testing the matter by observation are few. 
Many who drop their aitches know at least where the aitches should 
be, and by an effort put in unduly emphatic aspirations; but 
probably very few, and possibly none, of those who put in aitches 
where none should be, are able to spell From a story told me by 
an American, it would even seem that those who thus wrongly insert 
aitches l have ears too gross to recognise the difference between 
the correct and the incorrect pronunciation. He told me he 
offered an English boy in his employment ten cents to say " egg," 
" onion," " apple ; " on which the boy said, " Hall right, hegg, honion, 
happle ; 'and us hover the ten cents :* w No," he replied, "you are 
not to say hegg, honion, happle, but egg, onion, apple." " Well, so 
I did," was the cheerful response ; "ypu say hegg, honion, happle, 
and Hi say hegg, honion, happle." But very likely my informant 

It should be noticed that in one respect the English, even when 
well educated, are very careless, to say the least, in the use of the 
aspirate. I refer to their pronunciation of words beginning with 
" w " and " wh." We too often hear when, where, whale, and so 
forth, pronounced like the words wen, were, wail, &c. In America 
this mistake is never made. They do not pronounce the words as 
educated Irishmen often, if not generally do, hwen, hwere, hwale, 
that is, with an exaggerated aspirate, giving the words with a whish, as 
it were ; but they make the distinction between ' w ' and ' wh ' very 
clear. I am inclined, by the way, to believe that the Irish mode of 
pronouncing words beginning with "wh" is in reality that which 
was in use in former times in England, probably at an earlier 
date than that of the Pilgrim Fathers ; at any rate, hwat, hwen, &c, 
is the spelling in old English and Saxon books. 

There are faults of pronunciation which, so far as I can judge, 
are about equally common in both countries. For instance, ' sech ' 
for 'such,' 'jest' for 'just,' 2 'ketch' for 'catch,' 'becos' for'be- 

1 In passing, I may remark that the word acJu was formerly pronounced aitch, ' 
so that the word aches used to be a dissyllable. Thus Beatrice, in " Much Ado 
About Nothing," says she is exceeding ill — not for a hawk, a horse, or a husband, 
but for that which begins them all, •• H," that is, through an acheor pain ; just ar 
two scenes earlier her fellow-victim, Benedict, says he has the toothache. ' 

1 It is worthy of notice that the pronunciation of certain vowels depends in 

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English and American English. 169 

cause/ 'instid' for 'instead,' sometimes even 'forgit' for 'forget' 
But we certainly do not so often hear 'doo' for 'due/ 'soo' for 
'sue,' and so forth, in England, as in America. 'Raound' for 
' round/ ' claoud ' for ' cloud ' is very common in New England ; 
but perhaps not more so than in certain districts in England. In 
the Southern States, peculiarities of pronunciation are often met 
with which had their origin in the association of white children with 
negroes. Among these, perhaps the most remarkable is the omis- 
sion of the 'r' in such words as door, floor, &c, pronounced by 
negroes, do', flo', &c. 

Let us next consider the different use of certain words and 
phrases in the two countries. 

Mr. Wilkie says, holding still by his calm and quite erroneous 
assumption, that the change is all on one side, "the difference 
between the spelling of words and their sound is not all there is to 
prove that the English are losing the English language, and substitut- 
ing a jargon that is totally unlike that speech bequeathed to us by 
our Saxon and Norman ancestors. What, for instance, is to be done 
by a man understanding and recognising the English of Macaulay, 
Longfellow, Byron, Lamb, Whittier, Grant White, and the expurgated 
vernacular of the venerable Bryant, who finds that a street sprinkler 
in England's English is a 'hydrostatic van' ; that rails on a railroad 
are 'metals'; a railroad track is a 'line'; a store a 'shop'; a 
hardware-man an ' ironmonger ' P He finds no policemen here but 
4 constables.' If he go into a store and ask for ' boots ' he will be 
shown a pair of shoes that lace or button about the ankle. There 
are no groceries or dry-goods stores. Baggage is 'luggage'; a 
travelling-bag is a ' grip-sack ' " (a word which I have never heard 
out of America, and which I believe to be quite unknown in Eng- 
land) ; " there are no trunks, but always ' boxes.' A freight-car is a 
* goods- van ' ; a conductor on a 'bus or railway is a ' guard ' ; a street 
railway is a ' tramway ' ; a baggage-car, a ' luggage- van ' ; a pitcher is 
a 'jug'; and two and a half pence is 'tuppence 'apenny.' A 
sovereign is a 'squid'" ('quid' or'couter' would be nearer the 
mark if we must consider slang to be part of a language); a shilling, a 
'bob ' ; a sixpence, a ' tanner.' " He might conveniently have added 
for the information of Americans who wish to understand English 

great part on the consonant which precedes, and in part also on that which follows 
the vowel. Thus the u in such is often mispronounced, the u in much never, the 
u in /us/ often, the u in must, lust, and rust never, and the u in judge seldom. In 
America "jedge" for "judge" is often heard, however. So no one ever says 
tot for laws, but many say becos for because, and 'cos for 'cause. 

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170 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

English, and of Englishmen who wish to understand American 
English, that in England a biscuit is a " roll," and a cracker is a 
" biscuit." 

Now, all this, unless it is intended for an elaborate (and exceed- 
ingly feeble) joke, is absurd on the face of it To begin with, it 
would be difficult to find any authority in the works of Macaulay, or 
the other writers named, for street sprinkler, hardware-man, groceries 
and dry-goods stores, travelling bags, freight-cars, and street-railways. 
But, apart from this, nearly all the words to which Mr. Wilkie objects 
are much older and better English than those which Americans 
have substituted. For instance, the word " shop " is found in English 
writings as far back as the fourteenth century, whereas " store " has 
never been used in the American sense by any English writer of 
repute. Manifestly, too, the word store, which has a wider meaning, 
and has had that meaning for centuries, is not suitably applied to a 
shop, which is but one particular kind of store. There can be very 
little doubt that originally Americans substituted the word " store " 
for " shop," for much the same reason that many shopkeepers in 
England choose to call their shop a warehouse, or an emporium, or a 
mart, or by some equally inappropriate name. Again, baggage and 
luggage are both good English ; but on the whole the word luggage 
is more suitable than baggage for goods which have to be con- 
veyed by train or carriage : (one may say that baggage is the 
statical, luggage the dynamical, name for the traveller's impedi- 
menta). Unquestionably there is good authority, and that too in 
old authors, for the use of both terms. Of course we have trunks 
in England, despite Mr. Wilkie's assertion to the contrary ; we have 
boxes also : very few Americans can tell offhand, and many do not 
know, the real distinction between a trunk and a box ; just as few, 
either in England or America, know the distinction between a house 
and a mansion. Freight-car is a good word enough, — the freight 
half of it being better than the other, for the word car is not properly 
applied to a van ; but goods-van is in all respects better : " freight " 
is a technical term, " goods " everyone understands, and " van " is a 
better word than " car." The word " boot," again, is properly applied 
to any foot-covering (outside the sock or stocking) which comes above 
the instep and ankle. 

Turning from trivialities such as these, let us now note some 
points in which English and American speakers and writers of cul- 
ture differ from each other, — first as to the use of certain words, and 
secondly as to certain modes of expression. 

In America the word " clever " is commonly understood to mean 

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English and American English. 171 

pleasant and of good disposition, not (as in England) ingenious and 
skilful. Thus, though an American may speak of a person as a 
clever workman, using the word as we do, yet when he speaks of 
another as a clever man he means in nine cases out of ten that the 
man is good company and well natured. Sometimes, I am told, the 
word is used to signify generous or liberal. I cannot recall any 
passages from early English literature in which the word is thus 
used, but I should not be surprised to learn that the usage is an 
old one. In like manner the words "cunning" and "cute" are 
often used in America for "pretty (German niedlich)" As I write, 
an American lady, who has just played a very sweet passage from one 
of Mozart's symphonies, turns from the piano to ask whether that 
passage is not cute, meaning pretty. 

The word "mad" in America seems nearly always to mean 
" angry ; " at least, I have seldom heard it used in our English sense. 
For " mad," as we use the word, Americans say " crazy." Herein 
they have manifestly impaired the language. The words "mad" 
and "crazy" are quite distinct in their significance as used in 
England, and both meanings require to be expressed in ordinary 
parlance. It is obviously a mistake to make one word do duty 
for both, and to use the word "mad" to imply what is already 
expressed by other and more appropriate words. 

I have just used the word " ordinary " in the English sense. In 
America the word is commonly used to imply inferiority. An 
"ordinary actor," for instance, is a bad actor; a "very ordinary 
man " is a man very much below par. There is no authority for 
this usage in any English writer of repute, and the usage is mani- 
festly inconsistent with the derivation of the word. On the other 
hand, the use of the word " homely " to imply ugliness, as is usual in 
America, is familiar at this day in parts of England, and could be 
justified by passages in some of the older English writers. That 
the word in Shakespeare's time implied inferiority is shown by the 

Home-keeping youths have ever homely wits. 

In like manner, some authority may be found for the American use of 
the word " ugly " to signify bad-tempered. 

Words are used in America which have ceased to be commonly 
used in England, and are, indeed, no longer regarded as admissible. 

1 I have been told by an American literary man that twenty years ago the 
word u clever" in America always meant pleasant and bright, whereas it is now 
generally used as in England. But in the West it generally bears the former 
sense. ^ 

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172 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Thus, the word " unbeknown," which no educated Englishman ever 
uses either in speaking or in writing, is still used in America in 
common speech and by writers of repute. Thus, in Harper's Monthly 
for May 1881 (whose editors are well-known literary men) I find, at 
page 884, the following sentence in a story called " The Unexpected 
Parting of the Beazley Twins," — " While baiting Lottie's hook, as 
they sat together on- a log on the water's bank, he told her, almost 
unbeknown to himself, the state of his feelings. " 

Occasionally, writers from whom one would expect at least correct 
grammar make mistakes which in England would be regarded as very 
bad — mistakes which are not, indeed, passed over in America, but 
still attract less notice there than in England. Thus, Mr. Wilkie, 
who is so severe on English English in " Sketches beyond the Seas," 
describes himself as saying (in reply to the question whether Chicago 
policemen have to use their pistols much), " I don't know as they have 
to as a matter of law or necessity, but I know that they do as a 
matter of fact," and I have repeatedly heard this incorrect use of 
" as " for " that " in American conversation. I have also noted in 
works by educated Americans the use of the word " that " as an 
adverb, " that excitable, 1 ' " that headstrong," and so forth. So the 
use of " lay" for "lie" seems to me to be much commoner in America 
than in England, though it is too frequently heard here also. In a 
well-written novelette called " The Man who was not a Colonel," the 
words—' 4 You was " and " Was you ? " are repeatedly used, apparently 
without any idea that they are ungrammatical. They are much more 
frequently heard in America than in England (I refer, of course, 
to the conversation of the middle and better classes, not of the un- 
educated). In this respect it is noteworthy that the writers of the 
last century resemble Americans of to-day ; for we often meet in their 
works the incorrect usage in question. 

And here it may be well to consider the American expression 
" I guess," which is often made the subject of ridicule by English- 
men, unaware of the fact that the expression is good old English. It 
is found in a few works written during the last century, and in many 
written during the seventeenth century. So careful a writer as Locke 
used the expression more than once in his treatise " On the Human 
Understanding." In fact, the disuse of the expression in later times 
seems to have been due to a change in the meaning of the word 
"guess." An Englishman who should say "I guess" now, would 
not mean what Locke did when he used the expression in former 
times, or what an American means when he uses it in our own day. 
We say, " I guess that riddle," or " I guess what you mean," signify- 

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English and American English. 1 73 

ing that we think the answer to the riddle or the meaning of what we 
have heard may be such and such. But when an American says, " I 
guess so," he does not mean " I think it may be so/' but more nearly 
" I know it to be so." The expression is closely akin to the old 
English saying, " I wis." Indeed, the words " guess " and " wis " 
are simply different forms of the same word. Just as we have 
"guard" and "ward," "guardian " and "warden," " Guillaume " and 
"William," "guichet" and "wicket," &c, so have we the verbs to 
" guess" and to " wis : " (In the Bible we have not " I wis," but we 
have " he wist "). " I wis " means nearly the same as " I know," and 
that this is the root meaning of the word is shown by such words as 
"wit," "witness," "wisdom," the legal phrase "to wit," and so forth. 
" Guess " was originally used in the same sense ; and Americans retain 
that meaning, whereas in our modern English the word has changed 
in significance. 

It may be added, that in many parts of America we find the 
expression " I guess " replaced by " I reckon " and " I calculate " 
(the " I caHate " of the Biglow Papers). In the south, " I reckon " is 
generally used, 1 and in parts of New England " I calculate," though, 
(I am told), less commonly than of yore. It is obvious from the use 
of such words as " reckon " and " calculate " as equivalents for 
" guess " that the expression " I guess " is not, as many seem to 
imagine, equivalent to the English " I suppose " and " I fancy." An 
American friend of mine, in response to the question by an English- 
man (an exceedingly positive and dogmatic person, as it chanced), 
" Why do Englishmen never say ' I guess ? ' " replied (more wittily 
than justly), " Because they are always so positive about everything." 
But it is noteworthy that whereas the American says frequently, " I 
guess," meaning " I know," the Englishman as freely lards his dis- 
course with the expression, " You know," which is, perhaps, more 
modest Yet, on the other side, it may be noted, that the " down 
east " American often uses the expression " I want to know," in the 
same sense as our English expression of attentive interest "Indeed? 

Among other familiar Americanisms may be mentioned the 
following : — 

An American who is interested in a narrative or statement will 
say " Is that so?" or simply " So ! " The expression " Possible ! " 
is sometimes but not often heard. Dickens misunderstood this 

1 The first time I heard this expression it was used in a short sentence 
singularly full of Southern (or perhaps rather negro) phraseology. I asked a 
negro driver at the Louisville station or dJfSt (pronounced deepoe) how far it was 
to the Gait House, to which he replied, "A tight smart piece, I reckon. V-^ 

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174 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

exclamation as equivalent to " It is possible, but does not concern 
me " ; whereas in reality it is equivalent to the expression " Is it 
possible?" I have occasionally heard the exclamation "Do tell !" 
but it is less frequently heard now than of yore. 

The word " right " is more frequently used than in England, and 
is used also in senses different from those understood in our English 
usage of the word. Thus, the American will say " right here " and 
"right there," where an Englishman would say "just here" or "just 
there," or simply " here " or " there." Americans say " right away " 
where we say " directly." On the other hand, I am inclined to think 
that the English expression " right well," for " very well " is not 
commonly used in America. 

Americans say " yes, sir," and " no, sir," with a sense different 
from that with which the words are used in England ; but they mark 
the difference of sense by a difference of intonation. Thus, if a 
question is asked to which the reply in England would be simply 
" yes " or " no " (or, according to the rank or station of the querist, 
" yes, sir," or " no, sir "), the American reply would be " yes, sir," or 
" no, sir," intonated as with us in England. But if the reply is 
intended to be emphatic, then the intonation is such as to throw the 
emphasis on the word " sir," — the reply is " yes, sir" or " no, sir" 
In passing, I may note that I have never heard an American waiter 
reply " yessir," as our English waiters do. 

The American use of the word " quit " is peculiar. They do not 
limit the word, as we do, to the signification " take leave " — in fact, 
I have never heard an American use the word in that sense. They 
generally use it as equivalent to " leave off" or "stop." (In passing, 
one may notice as rather strange the circumstance that the word 
" quit," which properly means " to go away from," and the word 
" stop," which means to '/ stay," should both have come to be used 
as signifying to " leave off.") Thus Americans say " quit fooling " for 
" leave oft* playing the fool," " quit singing," " quit laughing," and so 

To English ears an American use of the word "some" sounds 
strange — viz., as an adverb. An American will say, " I think some of 
buying a new house," or the like, for " I have some idea of buying," 
&c. I have indeed heard the usage defended as perfectly correct, 
though assuredly there is not an instance in all the wide range of 
English literature which will justify it. 

So, also, many Americans defend as good English the use of the 
word "good " in such phrases as the following : " I have written that 
note good," for " well " ; " that will make you feel good," for " that will 

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English and American English. 175 

do you good " ; and in other ways, all equally incorrect. Of course, 
there are instances in which adjectives are allowed by custom to be 
used as adverbs, as, for instance, " right " for " rightly," &c ; but 
there can be no reason for substituting the adjective "good 1 ' in place 
of the adverb "well," which is as short a word, and at least equally 
euphonious. The use of " real " for "really," as " real angry," " real 
nice," is, of course, grammatically indefensible. 

The word " sure " is often used for " surely " in a somewhat sin- 
gular way, as in the following sentence from " Sketches beyond the 
Sea," in which Mr. Wilkie is supposed to be quoting a remark made 
by an English policeman : " If policemen went to shooting in this 
country, there would be some hanging, sure ; and not wholly among 
the classes that would be shot at, either." (In passing, note that the 
word "either" is never pronounced eyether in America, but always 
ecther % whereas in England we seem to use either pronunciation 

An American seldom uses the word " stout " to signify " fat," 
saying generally " fleshy." Again, for our English word " hearty," 
signifying " in very good health," an American will sometimes employ 
the singularly inappropriate word " rugged." (It corresponds pretty 
nearly with our word "rude" — equally inappropriate in the expres- 
sion " rude health.") 

The use of the word "elegant" for " fine " strikes English ears as 
strange. For instance, if you say to an American, " This is a fine 
morning," he is likely to reply, " It is an elegant morning," or per- 
haps oftener by using simply the word "Elegant" It is not a 
pleasing use of the word. 

There are some Americanisms which seem more than defensible 
— in fact, grammatically more correct than our English usage. Thus, 
we seldom hear in America the redundant word " got " in such ex- 
pressions as " I have got," &c. &c. Where the word would not be 
redundant, it is yet generally replaced by the more euphonious word 
" gotten," now scarcely ever heard in England. Yet again, we often 
hear in America such expressions as " I shall get me a new book," 
" I have gotten me a dress," " I must buy me that," and the like. 
This use of " me " for " myself" is good old English, at any rate. 

I have been struck by the circumstance that neither the conven- 
tional, but generally very absurd, American of our English novelists, 
nor the conventional, but at least equally absurd, Englishman of 
American novelists, is made to employ the more delicate American- 
isms or Anglicisms. We generally find the American " guessing " 
or " calculating," if not even more coarsely Yankee, like Reade's 

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176 The Gentleman' *s Magazine. 

Joshua Fullalove ; while the Englishman "of American novels is 
almost always very coarsely British, even if he is not represented as 
using what Americans persist in regarding as the true " Henglish 
haccent" Where an American is less coarsely drawn, as Trollope's 
" American Senator," he uses expressions which no American ever 
uses, and none of those Americanisms which, while more delicate, 
are in reality more characteristic, because they are common, all 
Americans using them. And in like manner, when an American 
writer introduces an Englishman of the more natural soft, he never 
makes him speak as an Englishman would speak ; before half-a- 
dozen sentences have been uttered, he uses some expression which 
is purely American. Thus, no Englishman ever uses, and an 
American may be recognised at once by using, such expressions as 
"I know it," or "That's so," for "It is true;" by saying "Why, 
certainly," for "Certainly," and so forth. There are a great number 
of these slight but characteristic peculiarities of American and 
English English. 


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TRAVELLING one time in quest of popular lore, the writer of 
these pages found himself quartered for the night in a small 
and poor farmhouse, at no great distance from the foot of that 
famous Hill of Uisneach which claims to be the centre of Ireland. 
The companion of his bed, but not of his slumbers, was a young 
countryman, son to the man of the house— a young man unusually 
simple and unlettered, even for his class ; who could not read a 
watch-dial, much less a book, and may have shared his sister's per- 
plexity as to whether " London " was far from " England." All the 
same, he was a pleasant fellow ; and to any one whose own tastes and 
character were not too complex, who liked men and women to talk 
and act as they feel — like the Italians as described by an eminent 
Frenchwoman — who would have understood Goethe's dolorous regret 
that the dull and constrained people he met would not return to 
nature even by the commission of some absurdity or extravagance ; 
and who was rather tired of the parrot talk of those who seem unable 
to feel interest in or admiration for anything unless some one else has 
first set them the fashion — he might have proved a congenial com- 
panion. Such he was to the present writer, whom, perhaps, he 
thought not too hard to please ; for he saw the relish with which his 
specimens of the lore of that part of Ireland were received, and the 
power that any taurogalline narrative of a demon cat breaking his 
long silence in the house by portentous utterance — of a hound 
spectre warning the nocturnal wayfarer to leave the haunted road 
to night and the Dead — or of the unearthly beings who stopped the 

Friar's pony near B one night to ask the rider, Was it long till the 

Day of Judgment ? — had to keep his interlocutor awake. The time 
slid by in such colloquy till one large star was shining in through the 
low window, on a cool summer's morning, without either of the two 
men making acquaintance for that night with the true visions or the 
deluding lies which ascend according to the poet through the two 
gates of the House of Sleep ; though things as vain perhaps were the 
staple of the conversation. Occupying a prominent place among 
them was that class of simple puzzles named at the head of this 

VOL. CCU. NO. 1808. . N 

178 The Gentleman 's Magazine. 

paper, which are often of great antiquity, and yet interest peoples 
both barbarous and more or less civilized, but which among our- 
selves hardly retain their interest for educated people who have got 
beyond the schoolboy age. 

Modern inquiry seems to have demonstrated that when man fell 
from the state in which he was created, he descended to a state of 
savagery ; that having to contend with the elements, and dispute 
with the beasts for subsistence, he grew to be all but brutish as the 
beasts ; and that the world's history since is a record of the slow and 
gradual uprise of every nation from a savage to a civilized condition. 
It is in the field of popular tradition, and especially of popular super- 
stition, that are yet found some of the most striking "survivals" from 
this older and ruder stage of thought and life through which all 
nations seem to have passed. The belief, for instance, that when an 
eclipse is taking place some monster is trying to swallow the moon 
is found among nations the most widely separated in the order both 
of time and culture. " I cannot tell," says the schoolmaster Good, 
in Camden, " whether the wilder sort of the Irishry yeeld divine 
honour unto the Moone ; for when they see her first after the change, 
commonly they bow the knee, and say over the Lord's prayer, and 
so soone as they have made an end, they speake unto the Moone 
with a loud voice in this manner : Leave us as whole and sound as 
thou hast found us." It may not be wonderful that such a usage 
as this should still exist among savage African tribes ; but it is prac- 
tised in Northamptonshire by girls who at this hour are not passed 
beyond their nubile years. Showing a piece of silver to the new 
moon, they make a courtesy and say, " A present for you, good 
Moon " — a piece of superstition in which even the fetichistic saluta- 
tion is less curious than a peculiar mincing and propitiatory tone of 
voice in which the words are uttered. 

Nor are some striking survivals wanting among riddles. For 
instance, it is many centuries since Boniface and Willibrord sub- 
stituted a purer and milder religion for the worship of Odin and 
Thor ; yet in the Aargau, the one-eyed and broad-hatted sky-god, 
the leader of the Furious Host, is still, under the name Muot, the 
subject of a riddle, where he appears as the god of the Under- World 
and its numberless ghosts. 

Der Muot mit dem Breithuot 

Hat mehr Gaste als der Wald Tannenaste. 

Muot with the broad hat 

Has more guests than the wood has fir-twigs. 1 
1 See a very interesting recent rhumi of Northern mythology, Asgard and tht 
Gods % p. 77. 

Of Riddles. 179 

It is not easy to conceive the society which acts charades or 
exchanges its aesthetic criticisms — original or otherwise — at an art ex* 
hibition, seated in circles, its members setting each other riddles, and 
exacting simple penalties for failure. Yet we know that such pastimes 
did, as a matter of fact, precede those in vogue among us now. Of less 
artificial societies may be instanced the Scottish Highlanders, among 
whom riddle-setting, according to Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, is still 
one of the pastimes which beguile the tedium of the long nights of 
winter. But for a true living picture of the custom, as once practised 
in ancient, and now surviving in rude society, we may take the AbW 
Boilat's acceunt of the Wolofs of Senegal : 

Le soir, an clair de lune ou au coin de feu, reunis en groupe, les Wolofs avec 
gxands eclats de rire s'attaquent les uns les autres par des interrogations. .... 
Chacun interroge a son tour, et lorsque qaelqu'un a devine' la reponse, on crie de 
tout cAte* : Weue not deug ! (11 adit la vMtJ.) Si la chose paratt difficile, lis se 
tiennent le menton et s'ecrient : BimmUay Dhiame! (Au nom du Dieu de 

One of the oldest of riddles is that set, in the Old Testament, by 
the Danite strong to his thirty companions : De Comedente exivit 
cibus, et de Forti egressa est dulcedo. This primitive enigma, which 
has left its traces on the Office of the Church l as on profane poetry, 
may be compared with another as celebrated, the Sibylline riddle. 
It puzzled many generations, but the true answer seems to have been 
arrived at in our own time — Alpha and Omega.* Homer's death, 
according to a tradition which might not wholly satisfy the historic 
sceptic, was caused by chagrin at his failure to guess a riddle pro- 
pounded to him by the fishermen of Ios. And Virgil's shepherds 
pose each other with riddles, Damoetas bidding his opponent 

Say where the round of heaven, which all contains, 
To three short ells on earth our sight restrains, — 

the interpretation of which has exercised the learned, some of whom 

explain it of the sky seen from a well ; and Menalcas setting the 

* Flower that bears inscribed the names of kings"— the Hyacinthus. 

Some of the oldest and most interesting of riddles are those 

1 Salve Area Foederis ; 
Thronus Salomonis ; 
Arcus pulcher aetheris ; 
Rubus visionis ; . 
Virga frondens germinis ; 

Velius Gedeonis ; 

Porta clausa Numinis, 

Favusqtte Samsonis* 
• By Mr. W. H. Scott, in the Atlantis for 1859. 

i8o The Gentleman s Magazine. 

relating to natural phenomena — sun, moon, stars, wind, fire, snow, 
and the like. Enigmas of this character are closely related to the 
myth ; and occasionally at least they may illustrate the origin of 
mythology. The personification of the hearth-fire, for example, as a 
woman, in an unpolished Irish riddle, which has French parallels— 

I know a little old woman : 
Quod die excernit, it covers her up at night — 

is somewhat curious, recalling such fire-goddesses as Hestia and 
Brigit Of quite a different character is an English riddle on the 

same subject : — 

Ever eating, ever cloying, 
Still consuming, still destroying, 
Never finding full repast 
Until I eat the world at last 

There is an archaic flavour about the Irish riddle (which, again, has 
several foreign parallels) — 

The son upon the housetop and the father not born — 

which means smoke from a fire not yet kindled. Another one from 


Here I have it, yonder I see it, 
A black lamb with a blue fleece — 

seems to be of the same family; but the answers to riddles are often 
dubious and contradictory, and this one is explained to be " Your 
breath." Fire is again (in a French riddle) §l un grand seigneur vestu de 
rouge," as in mythological legend the same element is " a little red- 
headed boy," a lame red-headed dwarf, an Incubo with a red cap — 
a conception into which is undoubtedly to be also ultimately resolved 
that tough-belted hero of the grene shaw, Robin Hood. Fire is also 
" a red cock " in Russia and in Scotland. To the colour of this bird 
is perhaps to be traced his connection, in riddle, myth, and super- 
stitious legend, with fire and with evil spirits. Dame Alice Kyteler 
was charged at Kilkenny in 1324 with offering " nine red cockes at 
a stone bridge, in a certain foure crosse highway," to a certain spirit 
named Robin Artysson, whose name (containing the element rod, 
red) shows that he was primarily an embodiment of fire. 1 From fire 
we pass to the opposite element in glancing at a few of the riddles 
relating to snow, which, if one may judge by the number of riddles 

1 So the wild man Robintt in Straparola's Fifth Night (Jannet, I. 324), and 
the English Robin Goodfellow % who, however, is sometimes a mere darkness 
fiend, and identifiable with Puck and the Puca. In Anglo-Irish riddles Robin 
is used for red olqects, e.g., a worm. 

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Of Riddles. i&i 

^about it, would seem to have caught the special notice of primitive 
men. A simple Galway riddle describes snow thus : — 

A milkwhite gull through the air flics down, 
And never a tree but he lights thereon. 

This is current in Irish. A more elaborate riddle of the same sort 
has probably found its way into Westmeath from England or Scot- 
land. Putting several fragments together, it reads thus : — 

White bird feathcrless 

Flew from Taradise, 

Perched upon the castle wall ; 

Up came Lord John landless, 

Took it up handless, 

And rode away horseless to the King's white ball. 1 . 

Mullenhoff, in his collection of traditions from Schleswig-Holstein 
and Lauenburg, published thirty-six years ago at Kiel, has this same 

riddle :— » 

Da koem en Vagel fedderlos, 
Un set sik op'n Boem blattlos ; 
Da koem de Jungfrau mundelos, 
Un freet den Vagel fedderlos 
Van den Boem blattlos. 

Here enters our investigation a mythological element — important, 
doubtless— which (as Fielding said of a certain vocable, in West 
Country disputes) is never long out of the discourse of one class of 
mycologists. We mean the Sun : for the sun, feminine in German, 
is, as would seem, the mouthless maid who ate the snow-bird off 
the tree in the riddle just given. Like so many of these relics, this 
one is old, appearing in the following form in a Reichenau MS. of 
the beginning of the tenth century : — 

Volavit volucer sine plumis ; 
1 Venit homo absque manibus ; 

Conscendit ilium sine pedibus ; 
Assavit ilium sine igne ; 
Comedit ilium sine ore. 

A modification of this enigma of the Snow and the Sun survives again 
among boys in England ; but as the primitive sense is entirely lost, 
and the negations seem meaningless, the answer offered to the tired 
inquirer sometimes is, // is a lie : 

The Druids' shrine may shelter swine 
And stack the farmer's peat ; 
Even so mean moths treat finest cloths, 
Mean men the Obsolete. 

1 The Rev. W. Gregor has just published a Scottish form, nearly identical ; 
Folk-Lore tfjke NorihrEost of Scotland 8i v 

' / Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

1S2 The GettfletnatCs Magazine. 

Sun riddles are common enough, but they are generally of the 
rudest description : " Little barrel of gold on a miry road ; n " A tall, 
tall house, A candlestick of gold : Riddle it right Or let it go by 
you " (both Irish). Perhaps the following curious Westmeath riddle 
has the same answer, if it is not a moon riddle :— 

In Moungan's Park there is a deer, 
Silver horns and golden ear ; 
Neither fish, flesh, feather, or bone, 
In Moungan's Park he walks alone. 

Behind my heel, behind my house, 

There is a Gray Mare and her Coult : 

The King and all his men couldn't turn that Gray Mare's tail about. 

" A White Mare in the lake, That her foot never wets, Though she 
travel as far as Roscarbery." " White Mare on the hill With her 
Foal at her heel." We hasten to terminate the suspense of the 
reader by explaining that the White Mare is the Moon, and the Colt 
is explained to be a certain star always near her. The Carrickfergus 
fishermen have a not intelligible name for such a star — " Hurlbassey n 
— further information on which would be useful. Whoever took the 
trouble to peruse a previous paper in this magazine on u Basque and 
other Legends/' l may remember .encountering a mythological White 
Mare therein; and the conjecture, suggested by various evidence, 
that this figure, which appears on Celtiberian coins, was lunar in 
character. Elaborate as the pagan worships of Greece and Rome 
came to be at last, they often, it is well known, preserved the clearest 
traces of the rude and direct nature worship in which they originated, 
The altar raised at Rome 9 


has no more primitive a flavour than this modern German riddle t 
" The father high ; the mother broad ; the son mad ; * designating 
Heaven, Earth, and Wind. The valuable, if occasionally very unedi- 
fying collection of popular lore published at Venice in 1550 and 
*553 ty Giovan Francesco Straparola (perhaps a nom-de-plume\ 
under the title of " The Pleasant Nights," contains many riddles. 
Most of them would not look well in English, but a few are very 
curious, and undoubtedly old: — 

In the birthtime of the world, ere the heavens and the earth, 
Sun or moon, herb or flood, in their primal being rose, 
Came my brother and came I, twin children to the birth ; 
And we wander from that hour, two brothers and two foes. 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, September, 1877. 

* Rathgeber, Gottheiten der Aider. Gotha, 1861, p. 533. 

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Of Riddles. 183 

From the day was so began our long alternate race 
Sees he ever me anear, straight he turns his foot to fly ; 
Living only by my death, he may never see my face, 
And / my life renew when I see my brother die. 

The two brothers are Night and Day ; and the enigma has mytholo- 
gical value, the conception it contains of Light and Darkness being 
that which Preller finds underlying the myth of the Dioskuroi, Castor 
and Polydeukes. So the Russian riddle, " A sister goes to pay a 
brother a visit. But he hides himself from his sister ; " in connection 
with which Mr. Ralston cites the dialogue of Night and Day in the 
Rig Veda : " They have called it sin (the Day says) that a 
brother should marry his sister." In a fair pleasaunce are planted a 
white Lily and a flame-yellow Marigold. Hard by rises a mighty 
oak ; twelve are its branches, and each bears four acorns at every 
season. " Cest obscure enigme," as the old French translation calls 
it, designates Sun, Moon, the year, and its divisions. The oak is 
perhaps the World-Tree, which we seem to recognise again in the 
Sun and Snow enigma, and in a Russian sun riddle : " Sits on an 
ancient oak a bird which neither king nor queen nor maiden fair can 
seize." The reader may think that he has been kept in the sun long 
enough, but two other illustrations should not be omitted. One is 
the graceful riddle from Westmeath : — 

I washed my hands in water that never rained or run ; 
I dried them in a towel was never wove or spun ; 

which means Dew and Sun, and occurs in a Latin form in the 
sixteenth century. The other is a curious Russian enigmatical charm 
to stop blood : — 

In the sea, in the ocean, on the island, on Buyan, lies the white burning stone 
Alatuir. On that • ■ sits a fair maiden, a masterful sewer. She holds a steel 
needle • . . and sews together bloody wounds. I charm the servant So-and-so 
from cuts. Steel, stand aloof, and thou, Blood, cease to flow. 

This is probably of very ancient origin ; and a scholar who seems to 
have loved popular lore with an heroic love, and whose works are at 
once a monument to himself and his country's traditions — Afanasjew 
— was apparently right in making the mysterious White Stone, 
Alatuir, the amber, the Greek rjXacrpov. The magical properties 
attributed to it seem to have puzzled both the Russian and the 
scholar who has made his works popular in England, 1 but old 
classical legends seem to sufficiently explain the matter. The myste- 
rious electron was brought, it was said, from a River Eridanus in the 
extreme West of Europe, where the sun goes down ; the Amber Isles 
1 Hussion Popular Sengs, p. 377. 

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184 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

(Nesoi Elektrides) were placed at the mouth of the Po ; or said to 
be in the North Sea ; or India was named as the source of the 
supply. It was formed from the tears of Phaethon's sisters, or of 
Apollon himself. Mycologists make Elektor a name for the beaming 
sun (Preller, G. M. I. 357, 358) \ and Pliny expressly says : " Elec- 
trum appellatum quoniam sol vocitatus sit ^XcWwp" (H. N. 37, 31). 
The Russian White Stone, glowing and beaming out in the sea, has 
other possible analogies. Has the brindle stone^ where English 
children in a rhyme tell the lady-bird that the key of her burning 
house lies hid, anything to do with the other? The Liag Find 
(White Stone), buried in a ford, and figuring in mediaeval Irish tradi- 
tions which we can do no more than allude to here, further suggests 
itself: and even a certain floating flag, common in Irish hagiological 
legend. The Russian charm occasionally places the stone by the 
Jordan, where some sacred personage, sometimes an apostle, sits on 
it. We are therefore reminded of familiar English and Irish charms 

beginning: — 

Peter sat on a marvel stone, 

Christ came by and He was alone, etc. 

Or (in a Galway version) — 

Peter fell on Jordaris ivazv, 

Christ He hastened him to save, etc. 

- Whether, lastly, we are to see any further connection between this 
class of beliefs and the usage of simple Donegal men to apply their 
aching jaws to a certain marble-like red stone in the wall of the old 
ruined church of Templedouglas, reciting the while certain prayers, 
is a matter which we must leave to the judgment of the reader him- 
self, only remarking that fire is often associated with superstitious 
cures for toothache. 

Leaving the riddles of nature, we come to the large class dealing 
with human life — which does, no doubt, suggest many enigmas. 
" On a remarqu^ ing^nieusement," says M. Gaston Paris in his excel- 
lent preface to the collection of French devinettes of M. Rolland, 
" que la plus ancienne et la plus cdfebre des dnigmes grecques avait 
pour sujet Thomme lui-m6me, conform^ment au gdnie du peuple qui 
avait fait sa devise de yrwflc tnavrov." A jovial butcher once asked 
an Irish poor scholar — 

Here's a question, scholar mine, all so learned in the Bible, 
Why doth fortune hap to fools, and ill-hap betide the wise man ? 
God ordained good luck to fools, and misfortune to the wise man, 

was the scholar's answer. 

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Of Riddles. 185 

Now a question, butcher mine, you that put the sheep to slaughter, 
Why left God the one gut open, when He firmly shut the other ? 

This professional question, which was too much for the butcher, 
relates to what is called putbg-an-aon.chinn> a certain part of the 
sheep's intestines. 1 Another more popular Irish riddle is not much 
worth in itself, but is couched in mellow and resonant Momonian 
verse, which we will not essay to reproduce. It was simply, " When 
did Sir Donnchu's serving-man die ? " " When his feet, ears, and 
hands grew cold," was the solution which got the travelling scholar 

his lodging. 3 

A vessel of gold with a handle out— 
The son of the king took a drink thereout — 
Yet from no tree-crown, and from no tree-butt, 
From no tree of the world was its substance cut, 
Nor smith nor brazier fashioned it out— (Limerick.) 

Thus, in Lorich's Latin :— 

Paruum est effigie, ceu Candida mala rotunda, 

Quo tamen haud dubie pascitur omnis homo : 
Non coquitur, nullo prorsus maceratur in igne ; 
Hoc sine uix ulli uita salusque foret. 

Solutio ; Est mamma muliebris. 

We are reminded of a singular enigma obtained from a boy in West- 
meath : — 

Last Saturday night I drank a drink through a goold ring in a glass 
window wall, 

And that's a riddle among yez all. 

The subject has exercised painters as well as poets, for it is pro- 
bably only one form of the riddle treated by Straparola, Virgo lacte 
patrem nutriens (Les Facetieuscs Nuits, ed. Jannet, ii. ro6). 

Though riddles are ordinarily meant to amuse, their subjects are 
often grim enough. 

I sat wi' my love, and I drank wi' my love, 

And my love she gave me light ; 
I'll give any man a pint o' wine 
That'll read my riddle aright. 

The solution of this, which is from Scotland, is—" I sat in a chair made 
of my mistress's bones, drank out of her skull, and was lighted by 
a candle made of the substance of her body." 

" He that made it, 'twas to sell it ; he that bought it, did not want 

1 From Galway. St. Augustine uses the same answer here made by the 
poor f cholar, when treating of difficult and mysterious matters in God's Provi- 
dence ; and in Aesop's Life Xanthus makes the same reply to his gardener. 
Rabelais has parodied it, with his customary licence [fiarpmtua % Book I. 
cap. 40). 

* Egerton MSS, Mm. Brit. 146, p. 75. 

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186 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

it ; he that used it, never saw it ; " a French, Italian, and German 
enigma on the Coffin. Like themes are common in Irish riddles. 
" Four white boar swine over Baile-Ui-Dilaigh : they would swallow 
all that ever came, and never disgorge so much as a grain w =the 
four-corners of the churchyard. " I have a green coat, and 'tis too 
short ; cut a bit off it, and 'tis long enough "= the Grave. The following 
Russian enigma is chiefly interesting as bearing, what popular lore 
should ever bear, the strong and distinctive stamp of the country it 

comes from. 

In the ocean-sea, 

On the island Buyin, 

Sits the bird Yustritsa. 

She boasts and brags 

That she has seen all, 

Has eaten much of all. 

She has seen the Tsar in Moscow, 

The king in Lithuania, 

The elder in his cell, 

The babe in his cradle. 

And she has not eaten that 

Which is wanting in the sea. 

Death is the answer, and the theme, in one form or another, is fre- 
quent in Irish riddles. 

If any reader think these enigmas a shade too sombre, he may 
have even less patience with the riddle jocular. " Why is it that 
donkeys have such long ears?" To this problem, propounded to 
the curious on the banks of the Seine and Loire, the answer is, 
Because their mothers did not put caps (biguins) on them in their 
infancy. "Why does Chanticleer shut his eyes when singing 
(chanter) ? " The answer again is of a highly satisfactory description. 
Because such vocalists "know their music by heart" — "parce 
qu'ils savent leur musique par cceur." " Why doth a dog turn round 
thrice before going to sleep?" The animal is in doubt as to where 
the bolster of his bed is. " What is the boldest of all beasts ? n The 
miller's ass, which is all day in the midst of thieves, and yet has no 
fear. " Qu'est-ce qui ressemble mieux a un chat en une fenestre ?" 
— " Une chatte." " What strange beast is that which has no head, 
seven legs, and one tail?" — A cat with his head jammed in a three- 
legged pot It is humiliating to own it, but the low wit of some 
of these moveth us to unseemly grinning. 

We rejoice in the possession of a lyttel boke of riddles, dating 
from the Renaissance, which was once the property of some appre- 
ciative French owner, possibly the curate of Meudon himself. Against 
some of the enigmas just cited, e&, the polypod cat, he has recorded 

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Of Riddles. 187 

his criticism in the marginal note, in an old hand, Damnabiiiter 

Of the riddle verbal two specimens may be more than enough. 
The former relates to a fair one—or dark one — who must have been 
a woman of some consequence in her own country : — 

The King o* Marooco built a ship, 
An' in that ship his daughter sits : 
If I tell her name I am to blame, 
An' there's three times I told her name, 

The royal blackamore having been christened Ann, we must restore 
an for ^in the third line, a feature which indicates that this riddle is 
not of late date. The foregoing is from Westmeath ; what follows 
is a specimen of the finer wit of the county of Mark :— 

Kaiser Carolus had a hound, 

And in my riddle his name is found : 

How was he called ? 

To this class, too, belongs the ingenious English riddle — which is 
not, however, without marks of literary origin : — 

Flower of England and fruit of Spain 
Met together in a shower of rain ; 
Put in a bag tied round with a string s 
Riddle me that and Til give you a ring. 

The riddle, we have seen, is close akin to the myth ; and our last 
specimen may illustrate how it is also a poor relation of the allegory. 
The lines, pregnant with the Drydenian strength, which open the 
" Hind and Panther," further illustrate the same thing : — 

A milkwhite Hind, immortal and unchanged, 

Fed in the lawns, and in the forests ranged ; 

Without unspotted, innocent within, 

She feared no danger, for she knew no sin. 

Yet had she oft been chased with horn and hounds, 

And Scythian shafts, and many winged wounds 

Aimed at her heart, and often forced to fly, 

And doomed to death, yet fated not to die. 

Waller makes a beautiful application of Samson's riddle in his 
poem, " Of the Lady Mary, Princess of Orange : " — 

As once the Lion honey gave, 
Out of the Strong such Sweetness came, 
A royal hero, no less brave, 
Produced this sweet, this lovely dame. 

The words with which Joubert commences his " Pens&s " offer 
another striking example, " I have given my flowers and my fruit ; 
I am now no more than an echoing trunk : yet whoso seats himself 

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1 88 Ttie Gentleman's Magazine. 

to listen beneath my shade shall become more wise." Nor are we 
far from the same borderland where meet the riddle of the unlettered 
rustic, the philosopher's enigma, and the dark figure of the poet, in 
this epitaph, from some unknown but not feeble hand of the period 
of the Revolution : — 

4 Here lies wise and valiant dust, 

Huddled up 'twixt fit and just, 

(One) was hurried hence 

Twixt treason and convenience. 

His Prince's nearest joy and grief, 

He had, yet wanted, all relief ; 

The prop and ruin of the State, 

The people's violent love and hate : 

One in extremes loved and abhorred ; 

Kiddles lie here, or in a word 

Here lies Blood, and let it lie, 

Speechless still and never cry. 

The final prayer was hardly heard. Under the head of historic 
riddles might be classed that dating from the dangerous times of the 

Roses : — 

The Cat, the Rat, and Lovel our Dog 
Rule all England under a Hog. 

So the " old prophecy found in a bog, That Ireland should be 
ruled by an Ass and a Dog " — the theme of Lillibulero. The noble 
poet is good enough to read his riddle for us : — 

And now that old prophecy hath come to pass, 
For Talbot's the Dog and King James is the Ass ; 
Lillibulero, lero, lero, Lillibulero bullenala. 

Some Irishman, by the way, should try to extract some sense out of 
the refrain. The once powerful house of Desmond was to come to 
ruin when five earl's sons should go over to England in a cow's 
belly — a prediction realized when in 1535 a ship called The 
Cow carried the same fatal number of that family to a bloody 
death on Tower Hill. 

In Irish ground I am, 

On English ground I stand, 

I rode the mare that never was foUed* 

And carried the dam in my hand— 

must be our solitary specimen of a large class of subtleties, some of 
them old, as Strap*rola's elaborate second enigma of the Eleventh Night. 
The man was in Ireland, but had his shoes filled with English earth ; 
the mare had not come into the world in the ordinary way; and the whip 
was made out of the skin of her dam. In the ancient monastic satire 
on the Bards, the " Departure of the Troublesome Guests wl (Tromdimh) ? 
1 Cf. The Proees of the Sevyn Sages, though eight bards are named, 

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Of Riddles. 189 

Marbhin, the swineherd, contends in riddles with Doel Duiledh, 
ollamh of Leinster. The questions are, What good thing did man find 
on earth that God never found ? What two trees never lose their green 
top till they wither ? What beast is that that it drowns if you take 
him out of the sea, and vivifies to throw him in ? What animal is it 
that lives in fire, and it is burning to him to take him out of the fire, 
and life to him td put him into it ? The answers to the last three 
— which are out-of-the-way enigmas— are, 1. The two famous yew 
and holly- trees, the E6 Rosa (which stood near Leighlin, Carlow), 
and the Fidh Sidheang. 2. A beast called the gm'mafiratin— probably 
the walrus, about which there were many strange things told in 
ancient Ireland. 3. The Salamander. The first of the four riddles 
is a very common one yet in several countries, and is thus given by 
Lorich, from some old German original : — 

Omnibus aethcreae sedis Dominator abundat, 

Attamen est aliquid quo Deus ipse caret : 
Omnia Pontifices retinent aut plurima Summi, 

Ast illis aliquid rarius esse puto : 
Haec eadem quamuis desint Papaeque Deoque, 

Quilibet e populo semper habere potest. 

His Equal— *& the sagacious reader has no doubt divined ; or " his 
sufficiency of a lord/' as the Irishman writes in his own character- 
istic way. 

The bibliography of riddles is treated of by M. Eugene Rolland, 
whose most important omission is perhaps a little Latin book— rare, 
we believe — which has been frequently quoted from above. Its full 
title is, " A Little Book of Riddles, filled full of various knowledge 
as well as pleasant wit, collected with no common labour from the 
best authors, sacred and profane, and rendered into ornate verse by 
Iohannes Lorichius Hadamarius, studying letters at Marpurg. The 
gods second our undertakings. With the favour and privilege of the 
Emperor; printed by Christian Egenolph (MDXL.)." We are at 
this moment admiring on the last page but one the figure of a cock, 
spectral as that which in a certain old story rose from the pot of 
Judas to evidence the resurrection of his Master. Lorich offers, 
often in elegant verse, versions of the most familiar enigmas, with 
many good ones which we have not encountered elsewhere. Of the 
latter class is tye singular and beautiful enigma, God's greatest 
miracle (fol. 17 a): — 

Die mihi quid reputas inter miracula tanta 
Maius, quod Domini fecerit alma manus. 

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IQO The Gentleman $ Magazine. 

The answer is : — 

Humanum corpus primo ex tellure creauit, 

Est opus, ut possit clarius esse nihil. 
Uerum quod totidem quoque finxcrit ille figuras 

Ut uideas faciem nullius esse parem 
Idcirco Mtpowks Mp&wovt nominat ille 

Maeonia fertur qui regione satus. 
Omnibus hoc aliis praestantius arbitror esse t 

Pectore nunc reputa latius ista tuo. 

We remember hearing at school in York the boy's riddle, "Hour 
many cow-tails would reach to heaven ? " The Latin writer has it — 
with a difference — how many vessels to empty the sea — and thus 
answers himself (fol. 21 b) :— 

Quod si sufficeret uas tantis fluctibus unum 
Crede mihi nunquam pluribus esset opus. 

So the Scotch and Irish, "A beautiful maid in a garden was laid, and 
died before she was born" (Eve) — represented by the old Alsatian, 
« Wer gestorben und nit geboren sey ?" (Adam und Eva) ; and 
having imperfect French and Italian analogies — is in the Latin collec- 
tion in two forms, one of them :— 

Nondum natus eram cum me mors abstulit atfox 

Et me natalem mors rapit ante diem. 
(Rtspotuio) — 

Mors similis sed non similis fuit ortus Adamo 

Atque huic e costa quae fuit orta uiru 

A concluding word must be said of the large and interesting class 
of riddles whereon a narrative turns. Our first example is furnished 
by that country which has supplied so many of the enigmas cited in 
the foregoing pages, and the story is localized in Clare, in Limerick, 
in Cork, and elsewhere. By the side of a lonely road, and standing 
upon the gate-pier of a churchyard, there used to be seen always after 
nightfall the figure of a woman, her fiery eyes gleaming out into the 
darkness. Like another Sphinx, the evil spirit (for such seems the 
original form of the legend) propounded verses, enigmatic and 
incomplete, to those that passed the way, and when they could not 
complete her quatrain she would kill them. The Irish leath-rann or 
half verse varies in the different versions. In one it was a demon, 
seated astride of the roof of Askeaton Abbey, and smoking tobacco, 
whose words, in the vernacular tongue, were : — 

Tobacco and pipe for the rider of the church 1 

Put thou an answering rhyme to that. 

Or she beset the ford at Btal-dtha, in West Clare, till a poor 
scholar made her depart from it for everi with a dreadful cry, by a 

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Of Riddles. 191 

Completing couplet telling her that had she done penance for her 
sins in time she would not be stationed to affright the wayfarer there. 
The Cork version is very curious : — 

Behold a candlestick and candle here : 

Put thou an answering rhyme to that. 

A jovial fellow, navigating his unsteady way homeward, answers 
in a rhyme which dismisses the grateful ghost to the kingdom of 
Heaven. Here, of course, it was a good spirit. This legend is very 
old in Ireland, its earliest version probably occurring in one of the 
Irish MSS. in the Bodleian (Laud, 615, p. 134), where the metrical 
contest is between the Devil and Saint Colum-Cille. There are also 
Oriental analogies ; and we are reminded of the verses beginning 
Sic vos nan vobis y which, according to the legendary anecdote, only 
the Mantuan poet could properly complete. 

We assume some acquaintance on the part of the reader with a 
widely spread story wherein a knight is commanded by a tyrannical 
monarch to answer him three questions against a certain day. The 
poor gentleman, who up to this was as sleek and comely as his 
master was worn and haggard, declines his food, loses flesh and 
colour, and spends his nights in bootless anxiety, till his cook, 
noticing the change, learns the cause of it, and obtains leave to dress 
himself in his master's clothes, and go and personate him before the 
Emperor on the appointed day. His cool answer to the first of the 
imperial enigmas — How long would the Emperor take to make the 
circuit of the earth ? — was that if he got up with the sun, and kept up 
widi him through the day, he would do it in twenty-four hours. The 
Emperor bit his lip, but proceeded to the second question : When 
I am seated in my state robes, in my imperial chair, my jewelled 
crown on my head, my sceptre of gold in my hand, tell me to the 
farthing what I am worth. Again we suppose the reader has seen in 
some form the witty answer: "The King of Kings, I have heard, 
was sold for thirty silver pieces : giving Your Majesty the full value, 
I can't make you worth more than twenty-nine." "Tell me, sirrah," 
said the reddening Kaiser, " What is my thought this moment, when 
there is no truth at all in my thought" "You are thinking I am the 
Ritter von Niemandsheim ; whereas, saving your favour, I but cook 
his meals." This is the Swabian version. There is the English 
ballad, where King John and an Abbot take the place of the Kaiser and 
the Knight ; a French version ; and an Irish version, current in the 
county of Cork. In Lorich's excellent little book the curious reader 
will also find the tale — occurring in Bebelius and in Elizabethan jest- 
books— of the man who, cited before the judge, made good his four 

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192 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

statements— that his horse was wiser than the priest ; that he had 
hoarded a treasure no thief on earth could get at ; that he held 
eternal life in his hands ; and that God's providence ordered the 
universe as he wished. 

Another very curious and widely diffused riddle-story is that 
wherein a pedantic master teaches his servant-boy to give certain 
superfine names to the objects about the house ; not to call the 
house, the fire, the cat f by those appellations, but, eg. f to call the 
house, the kingdom ; the man's daughter, Aralin ; the fire, great-glory ; 
the cat, mildness (aliter " Seanduine- white-face M ) ; the bed, rest ; 
water, plenteousness ; the man's shoe, easy-sole ; the dog, trot-easy. 
In this Irish version a poor scholar, after doing much mischief, brings 
his master an enigmatical message, relating the state of affairs : — 

Devoured Trot -easy Easy-sole, 
Thee, Aralin, did I cajole ; 
Beneath the Rest did Mildness tear, 
Great -Glory carrying in her rear ; 
Let Plenteousness be plenty now, 
Or the Kingdom lies in ashes low. 

The later editions of Straparola offer a variation of this, where the 
names are Latin : e.g., the water is Abttndantia. 

But we will descend from our tripod. The subject treated in 
this paper has been barely opened therein : yet from what has been 
said the reader, we believe, will agree with us that these simple relics 
of the past may throw much light on primitive ways of thought, and 
illustrate other curious matters; that their very simplicity should 
save them from being wholly forgotten in an artificial age ; while (to 
again cite M. Paris) the resemblances or identity between specimens 
coming from peoples long severed from direct communication with 
each other suggest a more important riddle, which yet awaits an 
Oedipus to solve it 


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AT the accession of James the First the condition of the Roman 
, Catholics in England was one of galling restrictions, spiteful 
intolerance, and constant persecution. Under Mary the Protestants 
were the martyrs of the State ; under Elizabeth the reaction set in, 
and the Papists had to reap the whirlwind they had sown during the 
preceding reign. The crop was an evil on;, and as the unhappy 
son of an oppressed faith had to eat its bitter food, he had every 
reason to admit that his lines had not fallen in pleasant places. On 
all sides the Papist was the object of State inspection and irritating 
control He dared not confess to his priest or bend the knee to the 
Host in his own temples ; whilst if he failed to attend a Protestant 
place of worship on the Sabbath, he was liable to a fine of twenty 
pounds for every month during which he had absented himself. If 
he were a priest and attempted to say mass, he could be punished by 
a forfeiture of two hundred marks and a year's imprisonment Indeed, 
such a man had no right at all to enjoy English hospitality. By a 
statute passed in 1585 it was enacted that " All Jesuits, seminary and 
other priests ordained since the beginning of the Queen's reign should 
depart out of the realm within forty days after that session of Parlia- 
ment ; and that all such priests or other religious persons ordained since 
the said time should not come into England or remain there under the 
pain of suffering death, as in case of treason ; " it was also declared that 
"all persons receiving or assisting such priests should be guilty of 
capital felony. 19 The Papist who refused to bow down in the house 
of Rimmon— or, in other words, attend the Sunday services in a Pro- 
testant church— was branded as a " recusant," and on persisting in his 
xrfusal was forced to quit the kingdom ; if he dared to return without 
leave, he laid himself open to execution as a felon, without benefit oi 
clergy. It is true that these harsh laws were not always put into opera- 
tion, yet no Papist ever felt himself safe from becoming one day their 
victim. It was a matter of lenity that he escaped, not of right 

As the health of Elizabeth began visibly to decline, the English 
Catholics looked forward with hope to the arrival of her successor. 
It was known that James was the son of Catholic parents ; that he 

VOL. CCLI. NO. 1808. O 

194 ^n** Gentleman's Magazine. 

had been baptised by a Catholic archbishop, and that he had on 
more than one occasion openly avowed that he was not a heretic, and 
that he had not severed himself from the Church. Even if his faith 
had been doubtful, was it to be expected, it was asked, that he would 
regard with favour the party which had been the chief agent in 
hunting his mother to her death? In addition to .these surmises, 
James had given positive proof of the toleration he intended to dis- 
play. Whilst Elizabeth was lying -ill, one Thomas Percy, a kinsman 
of the Earl of Northumberland, and subsequently one of the Ppwtfer 
fclot conspirators, had been sent on a mission to Scotland, and had 
returned with the answer that James, on his accession, would deal 
well with the English Catholics. At the same time the King of 
Scotland wrote with his own hand a letter to the Earl of Northum- 
berland, stating that when His Majesty should cross the Tweed to 
wear the crown, the Catholic religion would be tolerated. 1 Buoyed 
up with these hopes, the Catholics of England warmly supported the 
cause of James, and were amongst the most loyal of those who rallied 
round the throne during the first months of his accession. 

For a time it appeared as if the reign of persecution had come to 
an end. The English Catholics were exempt from attendance upon 
Protestant churches, they were exonerated from the fines for recusancy, 
and they were appointed to lucrative posts under the Crown. They 
were informed that this happy state of things would continue "so 
long as they kept themselves upright and civil in all true carriage 
towards the King and State without contempt" But the wily James 
had only used the policy of toleration for his own ends. As soon as 
he found himself firmly settled upon the English throne, and. bqcamt 
conscious that the national feeling was warmly hostile to the Papacy, 
he resolved to be independent of Catholic support, and to withdraw 
from the pledge he had solemnly given. He denied that he had ever 
returned a favourable answer to Percy's mission. He had always 
been a true son of the English Church, and rather than change his 
religion he would lose his crown or his life. He summoned his 
Council, and assured them that he never had any intention of grant- 
ing toleration to the English Catholics, and that if he thought hip 
sons would condescend to any such course, he would wish the king- 
dom translated to his daughter. To prove the truth of his words, he 
issued a proclamation, ordering all Jesuits and priests to quit the 
kingdom, under pain of being left to the rigour of the laws. And 
now, to the dismay and indignation of the duped Catholics, a return 

1 State Fafers, Domestic, edited by Mrs. Green, November 23, 1605 ; also, Tki 
Gunpowder Plot, by Daniel Jardi&e : a most careful work, now out of print 

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The* Gunpowder Plot 495 

to tfie persecuting policy of Elizabeth was openly adopted The 
recusancy fines were enforced. All the laws of Elizabeth against 
Jesuits and priests were ordered to be put in execution. A bill was 
passed, declaring that all persons who had been educated in Catholic 
colleges on the Continent should be incapable of holding lands or 
goods within the King's dominions. At the same time, any one 
keeping a schoolmaster who refused to attend a Protestant church, 
or who was not licensed by the bishop of the diocese, was liable to 
forfeit forty shillings for every day he was retained. Thus, practically, 
Catholic children were to grow up untaught Their parents declined 
to entrust them" to a Protestant tutor ; whilst, if they sent them abroad, 
they would lose their right as English subjects. Well might Sir 
Everard Digby thus write to Lord Salisbury, when he saw promises 
shamelessly broken and hopes raised only to be cruelly crushed : 
11 If your Lordship and the State," he says, 1 " think it fit to deal 
severely with the Catholics, within brief there will be massacres, 
rebellions, and desperate attempts against the King and State. 
For it is a general received reason amongst Catholics, that there is 
not that expecting and suffering course now to be run that was in 
the Queen's time, who was the last of her line and last in expectance 
to run violent courses against Catholics ; for then it was hoped that 
the King that now is would have been at least free from persecuting, 
as his promise was before his coming into this realm, and as divers 
his promises have been since his coming. AH these promises every 
man sees broken/ 1 

When men are subject to persecution for the sake of their religion, 
the course they pursue is suggested by the temperament each possesses. 
The timid shuffle and conceal, the bold defy the law or seek the 
overthrow of their oppressors. Such was now to be the conduct of 
the English Catholics. The weak, though sincere, pandered to the 
policy of the Court ; they worshipped in secret, they attended every 
Sunday a Protestant church, and they sent their children to Pro- 
testant schools. The more bold refused to dismiss the priests hidden 
in the secret chambers of their halls and manor-houses, or to follow 
their religion as if ashamed of it, and were content when discovered 
to pay the penalty. But there were men amongst the number who 
openly advocated the Catholic faith, who scorned to accept any 
compromise, who so fully believed in the truth and purity of their 
religion, that they not only professed it, but resolved to brave all 
dangers to see it freed from persecution and once more reinstated as 
the faith of England. It was this last class which, now that all hopes 
1 State Papers. Domestic. December 1605. 

* "Digitized by VjOOvLC 

196 Tfo Gentleman 9 s Magazine. 

of relief from the King had to be abandoned, determined to gain its 
ends by other means and from other agents. In religion there is 
little patriotism ; the interests of the creed dominate over those of 
the country. The Huguenots looked towards England for aid, so now 
the Catholics looked towards Spain. Negotiations were re-opened 
with the King of Spain for money and assistance. He was informed 
that the condition of the English Catholics was hopeless without his 
help, and he was invited to land an army at Milford Haven, when 
the western counties would rise in his favour, and every Catholic in 
England would rally round his standard. In the reign of Elizabeth 
such appeals were familiar at the Court of Madrid; but now the 
Most Catholic King took very little interest in England, and was far 
more anxious to conclude an advantageous peace with James than to 
convert him into a dangerous enemy. He declined to tempt fortune 
by the creation of another Armada. 

Thus foiled in all their attempts to ameliorate their condition, the 
English Catholics were ready to give ear to the most dangerous counsels. 
And now it was that the idea of destroying at one fatal blow King, Lords, 
and Commons, through the agency of gunpowder, began to assume a 
definite shape in the minds of some of the more desperate of the party. 
At this time Robert Catesby, who was the representative of one of the 
oldest families in England, and who, during the former reign, had en- 
tered warmly into the Earl of Essex's insurrection, John Wright, a scion 
of the Wrights of Plowland in Holderness, and Thomas Winter, who 
came of a line that had held estates in Worcestershire since the wars of 
the Roses, were frequently in the habit of meeting together at Lambeth, 
to discuss the fortunes and future of their Church. On one of these 
occasions Catesby took Winter aside and told him that " he had 
bethought him of a way at one instant to deliver them from all their 
bonds, and without any foreign help to replant again the Catholic 
religion/' On being pressed to explain his meaning, he answered, 
that " his plan was to blow up the Parliament House with gun- 
powder ; for/' added he, " in that place they have done us all the 
mischief, and perchance God hath designed that place for their punish- 
ment." Winter, taken aback at the suggestion of so terrible a deed, 
made objections. " True it was," he said, " that this struck at the 
root, and would breed a confusion fit to beget new alterations ; but 
if it should not take effect, the scandal would be so great which the 
Catholic religion might thereby sustain, as not only their enemies 
but their friends also would, with good reason, condemn them." 
Catesby shortly replied that " the nature of the disease required so 
sharp a remedy/' Then he bluntly asked if Winter would consent 

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The Gunpowder Plot. 197 

to join with him. At once Winter answered that, " in this or what* 
else soever, if Catesby resolved upon it, he would venture his life." 
It was however now agreed that, if possible, their ends should be 
attained by all peaceful means. Accordingly, Catesby recommended 
Winter to cross over to Flanders, and there see Velasco, the Con- 
stable of Castile, then on his way to England to conclude a peace 
with James and the King of Spain, and by him to use his efforts with 
the King of England to have the penal laws against Catholics repealed. 
This suggestion was at once adopted, and Winter hastily proceeded 
to Bergen, where he had an interview with Velasco. The discreet 
constable received him courteously, but dismissed him with pla- 
titudes ; the King of Spain entertained the most friendly feelings 
towards the Catholics of England, he much regretted the painful 
position in which they were placed, but he could not definitely pro- 
mise that in the treaty about to be signed he could specially stipulate 
for the redress of their grievances ; he would however see what could 
be done. This answer was not satisfactory to Winter, and finding 
from the English Catholics then in Flanders that Spain had no 
intention of actively interesting herself on behalf of the Catholic 
cause in England, he returned home accompanied by one Guido 
Fawkes, who had been recommended to him by the Flemish priests 
as a " fit and resolute man for the execution of the enterprise." l 

Guido Fawkes, whose name history will ever hand down as the 
chief mover in the plot, was sprung from a respectable Yorkshire 
family. In his examination 3 he admits that he was born in the city 
of York, and that his father was one Edward Fawkes, a notary, who 
has now been identified with the Edward Fawkes who held the office 
of " registrar and advocate of the Consistory Court of the Cathedral 
Church of York," who was about forty-six years of age, and was buried 
in the Cathedral Church, January 17, 1578. His parents being 
Protestants, Guido was brought up in the faith of the Church of Eng- 
land and educated in a free school near York. On the death of 
Edward Fawkes his mother married a very devoted Catholic, and we 
may therefore conclude that the future conspirator was made a 
convert to his step-father's religion. Sir William Waad, the 
Lieutenant of the Tower, writes to Lord Salisbury, after the 
discovery of the plot, 3 that "Fawkes* mother is still alive, 

1 StitU Papers, Domestic. Examination of Thomas Winter, January 1606. 
The Papers relating to the Plot, though calendared by Mrs. Green, have been 
separated from the Domestic Series of State Papers, and are now bound up in 
two volumes. 

9 Ibid. November 7, 1605. | • Ibid. December 8, 1605. 

1 t)igitized by CjOO^ 

198 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

and married to Foster, an obstinate recusant, and he bath a 
brother in one of the Inns of Court. John and Christopher 
Wright were schoolfellows of Fawkes and neighbours' children, 
Tesmond the Jesuit was at that time schoolfellow also with them ; 
so as this crew have been brought up together/' After having spent 
the " small living " left him by his father, Guido enlisted in the 
Spanish army in Flanders, and was present at the capture of Calais 
by the Archduke Albert in 1598. His devotion to the Catholic 
cause, his high courage, and in an age of dissoluteness his purity of 
life, soon caused him to be looked upon as one of the pillars of the 
party. He had been sent on more than one mission to Spain to 
obtain help for his brethren in England, and those who knew him 
felt assured that the interests of their Church could not be entrusted 
to safer hands. He is described by Father Greenway as "a man 
of great piety, of exemplary temperance, of mild and cheerful de- 
meanour, an enemy of broils and disputes, a faithful friend, and 
remarkable for his punctual attendance upon religious observances." 
When in Flanders, we are told that his society was " sought by all 
the most distinguished in the Archduke's camp for nobility and 
virtue." Such was the dangerous enthusiast who was now to play a 
prominent part in the conspiracy then being matured in the unscru- 
pulous brain of Catesby. Vice and fanaticism often tread the same 
path to reach their goal. 

On arriving in London, Winter, accompanied by Fawkes, went to 
see Catesby at his lodgings. There he met Percy and Wright It 
was evident to the little band that, deceived by James and deserted 
by Spain, the English Catholics, if they wished to free themselves 
from the galling restrictions by which they were surrounded, would 
have solely to rely upon their own energies and resources. They 
■ discussed their position and the future before them. " Are we always 
to talk," said Percy angrily, " and never to do anything ? " Catesby 
took him aside and whispered in his ear that he knew what should be 
done, but before he divulged his views it was necessary that everyone 
should be bound by a solemn oath of secresy. Percy readily agreed, 
and on the meeting breaking up it was arranged that they should all 
assemble in a few days at a house in the fields beyond St Clement's 
Inn. At the time appointed the conspirators came together; the 
only addition to their number being Father Gerard, a Jesuit priest 
Hie moment they had assembled, and without any conversation 
taking place, Father Gerard stood in their midst and administered the 
oath to each, beginning with Catesby and ending with Fawkes. w You 
shall swear," he said, " by the Blessed Trinity, and by the Sacrament 

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The Gunpowder Plot. 199 

you" now propose to receive, never to disclose directly or indirectly, 
.by word or circumstance, the matter that shall be proposed to you 
Jo keep secret, nor desist from the execution thereof until the rest 
shall give you leave." The oath taken, all " kneeling down upon 
their knees with their hands laid upon a primer/ 1 Catesby requested 
Gerard to quit the room whilst he made his project known. He 
then stated that he proposed, when the King went in state to the 
House of Lords, to blow up the Parliament House with gunpowder. 
The scheme met, with the approval of his hearers, and after a brief 
discussion as to the course that was to be pursued they adjourned to 
an tipper room, where they heard mass and received the Sacrament 
from the Jesuit father. 1 

The plan of the plot, once adopted, was quickly put into execution. 
.A house adjoining the Parliament House which happened to be 
vacant was taken by Percy, and there the conspirators daily met. 
It was proposed that a mine should be constructed from the cellar of 
this house .through the wall of the Parliament House, and that a 
quantity of gunpowder and combustibles should be stored in the 
vault of the House of Lords. At the same time a house was rented 
in Lambeth where wood and timber could be deposited to be 
ferried across the river to Westminster in small quantities so as not 
tQ excite suspicion. Fawkes, being unknown in London, kept the 
keys and acted as Percy's servant under the name of Johnson. The 
frequent prorogation of Parliament allowed the conspirators ample 
time to mature their schemes and to proceed with their mining 
operations. These latter were more arduous than bad been expected 
The wall which separated the house from the Parliament Chamber was 
a stout piece of masonry three yards in thickness, and required all the 
efforts of the plotters to make any impression upon it. All day they 
worked with their pickaxes, and at night removed the rubbish into the 
garden behind the house, strewing it about and then covering it with 
tuiC With the exception of Fawkes, who wore a porter's dress over bis 

1 Tint Gerard was ignorant of the plot, see Examination of Fawkes, Novem- 
ber & 1605 8 •* Gerard, the Jesuit, gave them the Sacrament, to co»6rm their 
oath of secresy, but knew not their purpose;" also Examination of Winter, 
January 9, 1606, Gerard, alias Lee: "The priest gaye them the Sacrament 
afterwards, hut knew not of the plot." The Jesuits at this time were in tl>e 
habit of assuming Several pseudonymes. The following occur amongst the State 
'Papers: — 

Henry Garnet, alias Walley, Darcy, Farmer, and Mease. 

Edward OMcorne,, Hall, Vincent, Parker. , 

.» , Nicholas Owen „ Andrews, Littlejohn, Draper. 

Oswald Greenway „ Greenwell, Tesmond. 

John Gerard , r / Brook, Staunton, Lee. O r\r\n\o 

Thomas Strange „ Anderson. 

200 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

clothes, and passed for a servant taking care of a house in the absence 
of its master, none of the conspirators were ever seen at the windows, 
but lived in strict seclusion in the basement It was with no little 
pride that Guido Fawkes remembered that those who were then 
spending their days in arduous toil and depressing isolation were 
men of ancient race working like the lowest for the sake of Holy 
Mother Church. "All," he afterwards avowed, 1 "were gentlemen 
of name and blood, and not any was employed in or about this 
action— no, not so much as in digging and mining — that was not a 
gentleman. And while the others wrought, I stood as sentinel to 
descry any man that came near ; and when any man came near to 
the place, upon warning given by me they eased until they had again 
notice from me to proceed; and we lay in the house and had shot and 
powder, and we all resolved to die in that place before we yielded 
or were taken." 

An accidental circumstance, which seemed as if fortune at first 
was propitious to the plot, was now to relieve the conspirators from 
much of this toiL One morning, whilst at work as usual upon the 
wall, a loud grating noise was suddenly heard above their head). 
They suspended their labours and kept dead silence, fearing that *t 
last all had been discovered. The noise continued, and Fawkes 
was sent upstairs to ascertain, if he could, the cause. To his delight 
he found that a cellar immediately below the House of Lords was 
being emptied of coals, and that the sound which had so startled them 
was owing to this circumstance. In the character of Percy's servant 
Fawkes approached the coal-merchant, whose name was Bright, and 
asked him if he was disposed to let the cellar, as his master was in 
want of one to store his own coals and wood. Bright replied that the 
cellar would shortly be vacant, and that he had no objection to Mr. 
Percy renting it from him. . Such an arrangement was of the greatest 
service to the conspirators. There was now no necessity to continue 
boring through the wall which separated them from the Parliament 
House, for the cellar the; were about to hire was a large vault, dry 
and dark, directly below the House of Lords, and exactly suited 
to the fell purpose they had in view. Terms were soon settled 
between Percy and Bright, and within a month the vault was filled with 
barrels of powder hidden in hampers, iron bars and tools to " make 
the breach the greater," and the whole covered with faggots and 
billets of wood. The better to conceal the purpose for which the cellar 
was used, a quantity of lumber was thrown carelessly about It was 
now May, and Parliament did not meet tiH the first week of October. 

1 State Pbfers, Domestic. Ewiuj»tkm of Gt»y Fawkes, Noronher 8, 1605, 

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The Gunpowder Plot. 201 

The preparations complete, the conspirators agreed to part company 
during the months that intervened, so as not to excite suspicion by 
being seen together. It was considered advisable that Fawkes should 
make London his head-quarters, and we now learn that he lodged at 
♦a Mrs. Woodhouse, "at the back of St Clement's Church.' 1 His 
landlady does not appear to have been impressed in his favour. 
" She disliked him/ 9 she said, " suspecting him to be a priest ; he 
was tall, with brown hair, auburn beard, and had plenty of money." 
Here he carried on an active correspondence with Catesby, Percy, 
Winter, and the two Wrights. 1 

When men meet together to carry out some terrible deed, it is 
•seldom that the secret is only confined to the originators of the 
scheme. As the plot thickens, and success becomes more and more 
probable, other agencies have to be introduced, and the band of con- 
spirators has to increase its numbers. This was now the case with 
the designers of the Powder Plot One by one the original five had 
to admit others into their confidence, until the heads of many were 
compromised m the matter. First, it had been necessary to obtain 
further assistance for the mining of the party-wall, and Robert 
. Keyes, the son of the vicar of Stavely in Derbyshire, and Christopher, 
the brother of John Wright, had the oath administered to them and 
were duly enrolled members of the dangerous fraternity. Then 
John Grant, of Norbrook, near Warwick ; Robert, the eldest brother 
of Thomas Winter ; and Thomas Bates, a servant of Catesby, were 
sworn as confederates. As money was an important element in the 
. undertaking to bring it to a successful issue, Catesby and Percy were 
of opinion that the secret should be divulged to some of the wealthy 
English Catholics, who should be asked to contribute funds towards 
the object in view. Accordingly, Sir Everard Digby, of Tilton and 
Drystoke, in Rutlandshire ; Ambrose Rookwood, of Coldham Hall, 
in Suffolk ; and Francis Tresham, the eldest son of Sir Thomas 
Tresham, and a relative of Catesby's— all zealous Catholics and men 
of huge estate — took the oath and became adherents to the cause. 
Thus the ranks of the conspirators had been swelled from five to 
thirteen, not including certain persons who had been sent on foreign 
missions who were supposed to be, if not entirely, at least partly, in 
the secret 

As the dread day for the meeting of Parliament approached, the 

plans of future operations were discussed and finally arranged. The 

King and the Prince of Wales, it was concluded, would perish in the 

explosion. The Duke of York, afterwards Charles the First, it was 

1 $t& Ibtors, Domestic. November 7> i<5oc. 

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supposed would not accompany his father, and to Percy, therefore, was 
entrusted the task of securing the lad and carrying him off in safety to 
be subsequently proclaimed King* Should the Duke not be found, 
then the Princess Elizabeth, who was under the care of Lord Har- 
rington at Coventry, was to be surprised and taken off in the stead 
of her brother. Warwickshire was to be the place of general ren- 
dezvous. Arms and ammunition were stored up in the houses of 
various conspirators in the midland counties, while Catesby, under 
pretence of uniting with the levies then being made in England for 
service in Flanders, had raised a troop of three hundred horse to 
meet any resistance which might be offered by the Government after 
the execution of the plot 1 Thus, as matters had been arranged, the 
Parliament House was to be wrecked ; the King, the heir apparent, 
and a large portion of the aristocracy were to be suddenly sent into 
eternity; a new sovereign was to be elected ; the Protestants were to 
be demolished, and all Catholic grievances consequently redressed. 
The mine had been laid, it was only necessary now to fire it. 

Parliament had been prorogued from the 3rd of October to the 5th 
of November. As the day came nearer and nearer for the perpetration 
of the awful act, a natural feeling of humanity impressed itself upon 
the members in the secret of the conspiracy. Every man amongst 
them knew that within a few days a terrible slaughter was about 
to be effected, that in the chamber above the murderous vault, 
with its powder and its faggots, there would assemble those favour- 
able to the Catholic cause as well as those hostile to it ; yet in the 
havoc of the explosion no distinction could be made, but bbth friend 
and foe must be made to suffer the doom of sudden death. There 
was not one of the conspirators but had some friend he was anxious 
to save, and the question had often been debated amongst them how 
they could impart intelligence to those in whom they were interested 
without exposing themselves to danger. How could they give 
warning without divulging their secret ? Tresham was " exceeding 
earnest " to advise Lords Stourton and Mounteagle, who had married 
his sisters, to absent themselves from the opening of Parliament ; 
Keyes was anxious to save his friend and patron, Lord Mordaunt; 
Fawkes. himself was interested in the fate of Lord Montague ; whilst 
Percy strongly interceded on behalf of the Earl of Northumberland 
and of the young Lord Arundel. But the stern, hard Catesby 
turned a deaf ear to all entreaties, and refused to be moved. 
Rather than the project should not take effect," he cried, " if they 

1 State Papers, Domestic. Examination of Guy Fawkes, Kovember 8, ' fGd j ; 
also Examination of Thos. Winter, January 17, 1606. 

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The Gunpowder Plot 203 

were as dear unto me as mine own son, they must also be blown up." 
He, however, assured his colleagues that most of the Catholic peers 
would not attend the meeting of Parliament, and that " tricks should 
be put upon them to that end." " Assure yourself," he said to Digby, 
" that such of the nobility as are worth saving shall be preserved 
and yet know not of the matter." His advice was accepted, for all 
feared that any other course was too dangerous to be adopted. 
u We durst not forewarn them," said Fawkes afterwards, " for fear 
we should be discovered ; we meant principally to have respected 
our own safety, and would have prayed for them." It was, however, 
agreed that if anyone amongst them saw his way to warn a friend 
on "general grounds " to absent himself on that occasion, he would 
be justified in so doing. 1 

This permission was to be fully availed of. William Parker, 
-Lord Mounteagle, was one of the few Catholics who then enjoyed 
the full favour of the Court During the last reign he had become 
intimate with Catesby and Winter, and had been engaged in the 
rebellion of the Earl of Essex, for which he had been fined and 
imprisoned. * He had also been one of those who had invited the 
King of Spain to invade England for the preservation of Catholic 
interests. On the accession of James, Mounteagle forsook his 
plotting courses, posed as a loyal adherent of the King, and became 
one of the most prominent of those "tame ducks" used by the 
Court to "decoy the wild ones." He was regarded by the English 
Catholics as the man above all others who could obtain redress for 
their grievances, if redress were possible. 9 One evening — it was on 
Saturday, October 26 — whilst Lord Mounteagle was at supper at his 
house at Hoxton, a letter was brought in to him. It had been 
handed to one of the pages by a man whose features were muffled 
Up, with instructions to deliver it at once to his master, as it con- 
tained matters of importance. The letter ran as follows :— 

" My lord out of the love I beare to some of youer friends i have a caer of 
youer preservacion therefore i would advyse yowe as yowe tender youer lyf to 

1 State Paptrs % Domestic. Examination of Digby, December 2 ; of Keyes, 
"November 30 ; and of Fawkes, November l6, 1605. 

• Ibid. Examination of Thos. Winter, Nov. 25, and of Francis Tresham, 
November 29* 1605. In these originals great care has been taken to conceal 
the name of Mounteagle. In the examination of Winter the name of Mount* 
.eagle is half scratched out and half pasted over with paper. In the examination 
of Tresham his name is hidden by a slip of paper being pasted over it. These 
are the only two examinations amongst the State Papers in which the name of 
Mounteagle appears. 

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devyse some excuse to shift of youer attendance at this parleament for god and man 
hathe concurred to punishe the wickednes of this tyme and thinke not slightlye of 
this advertisment but retyere youre self into youre countri wheare yowe maye 
expect the event in safti for thowghe theare be no apparence of anni stir yet i saye 
they shall receyve a terrible blowe this parleament and yet they shall not seie who 
hurts them this councel is not to be contemned because it maye do yowe good 
and can do yowe no harme for the dangere is passed as soon as you have burnt 
the letter and i hope god will give yowe the grace to mak good use of it to whose 
holy protection i commend yowe." ' 

Who wrote this letter? It has been attributed to Mrs. Abington, 
the sister of Lord Mounteagle, and wife of Thomas Abington, of 
Henlip, Worcestershire, one of the most zealous of the English 
Catholics. But the evidence we possess on the subject distinctly 
6tates that neither Mr. Abington nor his wife were acquainted with 
the plot until informed of its failure by Garnet, when they refused to 
join the rising of the Catholics. 1 The authorship of this letter has 
also been ascribed to Anne Vaux, the daughter of Lord Vaux, and 
devoted friend (Protestant scandal hints at a closer relationship) of 
Father Garnet ; but such a statement is unsupported by any testimony 
worthy of credence. There can be little doubt, however, that the 
sender, if not the writer, of the letter was Francis Tresham. Every- 
thing points him out as the culprit. He was known to be treacherous 
and unprincipled ; he had always been a lukewarm adherent of the 
plot, and was ever regarded with suspicion by his colleagues ; he had 
expressed himself most anxious to save the life of Mounteagle ; 
latterly he had been absent from the proceedings of the conspirators ; 
and on the failure of the plot he was treated with suspicious leniency 
by the Government. At the same time, it is hardly to be credited 
that this letter was the first intimation either Mounteagle or the 
Council obtained of the existence of such a conspiracy. No one not 
in the secret could guess from its contents what was about to occur ; 
it was, as Lord Salisbury expressed it, " too loose an advertisement 
for any wise man to take alarm at, and absent himself from Parlia- 
ment." There can be little doubt but that the Government were 
well acquainted throughout with the movements of the conspirators, 
and that they made use of Tresham's disclosure simply, as Father 
Greenway suggests, to hide the true source from which their infor- 
mation had been derived. The probable solution of the discovery 

1 This letter is amongst the Gunpowder Plot Papers. It is written in Roman 
hand, without capital letters or punctuation. It is addressed—' 1 To the right 
honorable the lord mowteagle." 

* State Papers % Domestic. Examination of Edward Oldoorne, alias Hal), 
March 6, 1606, 

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The Gunpowder Plot 205 

is as follows .'—The English Jesuits at Rome were well aware of the 
existence of the plot ; the French spies at Rome heard of it, and 
communicated it to their government; then France, fearful lest 
the fate of James and the success of the conspirators should place 
England in the power of Spain, secretly informed the Council of 
what was in store for them. In the Memoirs of the Duke of Sully 
there are frequent allusions to the sudden blow which the Catholics 
are preparing against England. A recent discovery confirms this 
view. Among the Cecil Papers, lately examined at Hatfield, there 
is this letter, which lacks both signature and address : * 

" Who so evar finds this box of letars let him carry it to the King's Majesty ; 
my Master litel thinks I know of this, but in rydinge with him that browt the 
letar to my Master to a Katholyk gentleman's hows anward of his way into 
Lincolnshire he told me all his purpose and what he ment to do ; and he being a 
priest absolved me and made me swear never to reveal it to any man. I confess 
myself a Katholyk and do hate the Protestant religion with my hart and yet I 
detest to consent either to murder or treason. I have blottyd out sartyn names in 
the letars because I wold not have either my Mastar or ane of his friends trobyl 
aboute this ; for by his means I was made a good Katholyk ; and I wold to God 
the King war a good Katholyk that is all the harm I wish hym ; and let him take 
heed what petitions or supplications he taks of ane man ; and I hop this will be 
found by som that will give it to the King, it may do him good one day. I 
mean not to come to my Master any more, but will return unto my country from 
whens I came. As for my name and country I counsel that ; and God make the 
King a good Katholyk ; and let Sir Robert Cecil and My Lord Chief Justice look 
to themselves." 

The events which immediately followed upon the despatch of the 
letter to Mounteagle are the common facts of history, and the State 
Papers fail to reveal much that is new. The vaults below the Parlia- 
ment House were examined by the Ix>rd Chamberlain, who purposely 
deferred the inspection till the day before the meeting of the Cham- 
bers. The coals and faggots stored up in the vault were observed, 
and at the same time Fawkes was seen, standing in a dark corner, 
guarding his treasures. So vast a supply of fuel for a house seldom 
occupied seemed somewhat suspicious, and on the Lord Cham- 
berlain making his report to the King it was resolved that a 
further examination should take place. Not to create alarm, the 
inspection was entrusted to Sir Thos. Knevet, a magistrate of West- 
minster, under pretence of making a general search in the houses and 
cellars in the neighbourhood for certain stuffs belonging to the King's 
wardrobe. At midnight, on the eve of the now famous fifth of 
November, Sir Thomas with his assistants made a sudden descent 

1 Third Report Hist. MSS. Commission. Vol. i*. p. 148. 

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upon the house. Fawkes, having finished his day's work, was In .the 
act of shutting the door. He was detained whilst the magistrate 
visited the cellar. Here the barrels of powder hidden by the faggots, 
the bars of iron, and the coals, at once revealed the nature of the 
plot Fawkes was arrested, pinioned, and searched ; slow matches 
and touchwood were found upon his person. In a corner of the 
cellar was a dark lantern, the light still burning in it Now that he 
had been caught red-handed, and all evasion was fruitless, the bold* 
ness of the man came out Without hesitation, Fawkes avowed to 
Sir Thomas the ends he had in view, and declared that "if he had 
happened to be within the house when he took him, he would not 
have failed to have blown him up, house, himself, and all/ Under a 
strong guard the prisoner was marched off at once to Whitehall, there 
to be examined personally by the King. The Royal bed-chamber 
was filled with members of the Council, and in the middle of the 
room, seated on a chair, was James. Calm, and with a lofty dignity, 
the conspirator faced his judges. In his own eyes he had done 
what was right, and he was bold with the courage of the man whose 
conscience completely acquits him. Question after question was put 
to him, often hurriedly and passionately, yet he never permitted his 
temper to be ruffled out of its quiet, haughty composure. His name, 
he answered, was John Johnson, and he was a servant of Thomas 
Percy. It was quite true that whilst the Upper House was sitting he 
meant to have fired the mine below, and escape before the powder 
had been ignited. Had he not been seized, he would have blown up 
King, lords, bishops, and all who had been in the chamber. 

" Why would you have killed me ? " asked the King. 

" Because you are excommunicated by the Pope." 

" How so ? " said James. 

" Maundy Thursday the Pope excommunicates all heretics who 
are not of the Church of Rome. You are within the same excom- 

He was then asked who were privy to the conspiracy, but refused 
to accuse any of his friends. After further questions had been put • 
.to him, several of which he declined to answer, he was sent with a 
guard to the Tower. 

.It had been arranged that the conspirators, after the explosion, 
should hasten to Dunchurch, where Sir.Everard Digby, under cover 
of a meet on Dunsmore Heath, was to assemble a large party friendly 
to the Catholic cause. Catesby and John Wright were on their way 
thither the afternoon of the day on which Fawkes had been appre- 
hended At Brickhill they were joined by Keyes, Rookwood, Percy, 

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rfnd Christopher Wright, who now informed them of the arrest of 
Fawkes, when they rode for dear life into Warwickshire. At Dun- 
church they met the rest of their number, but after a brief stay it 
was considered advisable to ride through the counties of Warwick, 
Worcester, and Stafford, into Wales, exciting the Catholic gentry 
to join them as they went along. Their efforts, were, however, use- 
less. The Catholics hounded them from their doors, and reproached 
them for having dragged their cause through the mire by their 
infamous enterprise. "Not one man," says Sir Everard in his 
examination, 1 "came to take our part, though we had expected so 
many." At Holbeach, in Staffordshire, the dejected band had to 
defend themselves against the country, who were raised from all 
quarters, and armed by the sheriff. Surrounded by the enemy, 
the conspirators saw that escape was out of the question, and 
prepared to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Yet even this 
consolation was denied them. Some powder, which Catesby and 
Kookwood were drying upon a platter over a fire, blew up with a 
tremendous explosion. Several of the party were severely burned, 
and Catesby fell down as dead. Disabled and discouraged, the con- 
spirators were powerless to resist their pursuers. They were sum- 
moned to lay down their arms and surrender. They scornfully 
refused An assault was now made upon the gates of the courtyard 
qF the house in which they had assembled. Two shots from a cross- 
bow mortally wounded both the Wrights. Catesby and Percy, 
standing back to back, were shot through the body, and shortly 
afterwards died of their wounds. Winter was disabled by an 
arrow penetrating his arm. Rookwood was senseless from a thrust 
from a pike. At last their assailants burst into the courtyard, 
beat down all resistance, and made the rest of the party pri- 
soners. They were conveyed to London, and committed to the 
custody of Sir William Waad, the Governor of the Tower. Within 
a week of the discovery of the plot, all the chief conspirators, 
excepting those who had perished at Holbeach, were in safe con- 

The examination of the prisoners was at once proceeded with. 
Fawkes, as chief culprit, had to undergo repeated examinations, not 
only -before the commissioners named by die King from the Privy 
Council, but before Lord Chief Justice Popham, Sir Edward Coke, 
andSirWifliani Waad, 8 At first he refused to give his real name, 

J n State Papers, Domestic. December 2, 1605. 

* His examinations and. declarations .amongst the State Papers are November 
S# 6 (two), 7, 8, 9, and 16, r6os ; January ^ 20, and 26, I606. 


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but a letter directed to him being found in his clothes, )ie owned that 
he had assumed the name of John Johnson for purposes of conceal- 
ment, and that he was called Guido Fawkes. He now candidly 
admitted his regret at haying been concerned in the plot, "for he 
perceived that God did not concur with it ;" still he had acted for 
the best, for ever since "he undertook that action, he did <very 
day pray to God he might perform that which might be for the 
advancement of the Catholic faith and the saving of his own soul." 
As close confinement began to soften his feelings, he became more 
amenable to the wishes of his examiners. He furnished a full 
account of the history of the plot, how it had been revealed to him 
eighteen months ago by an Englishman in the Low Countries ; .how 
he had prepared the vault ; how they had resolved to surprise the 
Princess Elizabeth and make her Queen in the absence of Prince 
Charles ; how they had prepared a proclamation in her name against 
the union of the two kingdoms, and in justification of their act ; how 
they would have taken the Princess Mary, but knew not how; and 
how they had sent arms and ammunition into Warwickshire. 1 

Yet no threats nor persuasion could induce him to disclose a single 
name which had been connected with the plot. " He confineth all 
things of himself," writes Lord Salisbury, " and denieth not to have 
some partners in this particular practice, yet could no threatening of 
torture draw from him any other language than this— that he is ready 
to die, and rather wisheth ten thousand deaths than willingly to 
accuse his master or any other/' When pressed by Sir William 
Waad that it was useless for him to conceal the names of his col- 
leagues, since their flight had already revealed them, Fawkes quietly 
replied, " If that be so, it will be superfluous for me to declare 
them, seeing by that circumstance they have named themselves." 
Such obstinacy was not to be permitted, for we must remember that 
at this time the fugitive conspirators were still at large, and there- 
fore, since persuasion had failed, it was necessary to have recourse 
to severity. On the appointment of the commissioners, and with 
special reference to Guy Fawkes, the King had written to them in 
his own hand, " The gentler tortours are to be first usid unto him et 
sicpergradus adima ttnditur, and so God speede youre goode worke. Mf 
There can be no doubt but that torture was now applied to the 
unhappy man, and that the rack was the means of obtaining disclo- 
sures which otherwise would not have been revealed. On Novem- 
ber 9, Fawkes made a declaration, in which he gave the names of all the 

1 Stat* Papers, Domestic. November 8, 1605. 
* Ibid. November 6, 1605. 

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The Gunpowder Plot. 209 

sworn conspirators without reserve. This document is amongst the 
pages of the " Gunpowder Plot Book/' and is entitled " The Decla- 
ration of Guido Fawkes, taken the 9th day of November, and 
subscribed by him on the 10th day, acknowledged before the Lords 
Commissioners." It is subscribed in a tremulous hand " Guido," as 
if the conspirator had put pen to paper immediately after being 
released from torture, and had fainted before completing his signature. 
The agonies of the rack were no doubt unbearable, but Fawkes now 
heard for the first time of the fate of his friends at Holbeach, and he 
may have thought it useless to suffer for the concealment of facts 
which were no longer secret. 1 

On the morning of January 26, 1606, there entered a barge 
moored at the steps of the Tower, Guy Fawkes, the brothers Winter, 
Ambrose Rookwood, John Grant, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates. 
From the Tower the barge proceeded to Westminster. The vast hall 
was crowded with spectators, for this was to be the first day of the 
trial of the notorious prisoners. Hidden by a screen from the 
audience were the King, the Queen, and the Prince of Wales. 
Seated on the bench were the Lords Commissioners, the Earls of 
Nottingham, Suffolk, Worcester, Devonshire, Northampton, and 
Salisbury ; the Lord Chief Justice of England, Sir John Popham ; the 
Lord Chief Baron, Sir Thomas Fleming ; and Sir Thomas Walmisley, 
and Sir Peter Warburton, Justices of the Court of Common Pleas. 
Confronting their Judges, on a scaffold, stood the prisoners. To the 
usual question of the Clerk of Arraigns, in spite of the confessions 
wrung from them in the Tower, each conspirator as he was asked 
pleaded not guilty. 

The Attorney-General, Sir Edward Coke, now rose up on behalf 
of the Crown, to accuse the prisoners of high treason. He had been 
instructed by Lord Salisbury what to say. He was to show that 
the practices of the conspirators " began on the Queen's death and 
before the severe laws against the Catholics." He was to disclaim 
that any of the accused wrote the letter which was the first ground of 
discovery. Thirdly, he was to praise the conduct of Mounteagle, and 
show " how sincerely he dealt and how fortunately it proved that he 
was the instrument of so great a blessing as this was." Acting upon 

1 That Fawkes was racked is certain. Amongst the State Papers is a docu- 
ment dated February 25, 1606, in which these words occur : "Johnson has been 
on the rack for three hours, whereas Fawkes confesstd hfter being racked for half 
an hour." Again, Thos. Philippes, writing, December 1605, to Hugh Owen, says : 
" Fawkes confessed nothing the first racking, but did so when told he must come 
to it again and again from day to day till he should have delivered his whole 

VOL. CCH. NO. 1808. p 

2io The Gentleman } s Magazine. 

these instructions, the Attorney-General, after having enlarged upon 
the enormity of "this treason," proceeded to relate the previous 
conspiracies into which several of the prisoners had entered, declaring 
that all of them had been " planted and watered " by the Jesuits 
and the English Catholics. He contrasted the mildness of the laws 
passed against the Catholics with the severity of the proceedings 
against the Protestants under Mary. He praised the lenity of James, 
who had been willing to grant complete toleration until compelled to 
change his policy by the treasonable conduct of the Catholics, and 
especially of the priests. He then sketched the history of the plot, 
and concluded that men guilty of so monstrous a conspiracy were 
undeserving of mercy and justly merited the severest punishment the 
law allowed The confessions of the prisoners were now read, and 
after a brief summing up from the Lord Chief Justice, a verdict was 
brought in finding all the conspirators guilty. 

Sir Everard Digby was separately arraigned. He pleaded guilty; 
he had been actuated, he said, by a desire to restore the Catholic 
religion, but he confessed that he deserved the severest punishment 
and the vilest death. The commissioners gravely lectured him upon his 
conduct, declined to listen to his petition on behalf of his estate, wife 
and children, and he, with the rest, was adjudged guilty of high treason, 
Sentence of death was now passed upon the eight condemned men, 
and they were then rowed back to the Tower. Three days after the 
trial the gates of the Tower again opened, and there appeared Digby, 
Robert Winter, John Grant, and Thomas Bates. They were pinioned 
and bound to hurdles which were placed on sledges. A scaffold 
had been erected at the western end of St Paul's churchyard, and 
thither, amid the execrations of the mob, the unhappy men were 
drawn. All met their fate with courage, admitting the justice of their 
sentence, and declaring that they died true sons of the Catholic 
Church. This was on the Thursday ; the day following, Guy Fawkes, 
Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes, were 
drawn from the Tower to the old Palace at Westminster. The last 
to suffer was Fawkes. He was so enfeebled by sickness and torture, 
that he had to be helped up the ladder. He spoke only a few words 
to the crowd ; he expressed his regret for the crime of which he had 
been guilty, and begged the King and his country to forgive him his 
bloody intent. Then he placed himself in the hands of the execu- 
tioner and was launched into eternity. 

The Judas of the band was spared the gallows. Though his 
colleagues had been arrested, Tresham was permitted to remain at 
large until several days after the discovery of the plot This partial 

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The Gunpowder Plot. 211 

leniency certainly favours the conjecture that the Government were 
under obligations to him. On his arrest he made a clean breast of 
his connection with the plotters and their work. He stated that 
Catesby had informed him of the conspiracy, that he had strongly 
discouraged it, but finding that all opposition was in vain, he had 
begged that the execution of the plot should be deferred to the end 
of the session of Parliament, and that they should all obtain safety in 
the Low Countries. His companions once out of the country, he had 
intended, he said, to reveal the plot to the Government 1 He also 
stated that Mounteagle and Catesby, as well as Fathers Greenway and 
Garnet, were privy to Winter's mission to the King of Spain. Shortly 
after this confession Tresham was attacked by a dangerous malady, 
and his life despaired of. A few hours before his death he dictated 
a declaration in which he retracted in the most solemn manner that 
part of his statement implicating Father Garnet in the mission of 
Winter to Spain. This declaration he signed, and begged his wife to 
" deliver it with her own hands to the Earl of Salisbury." * He died 
December 23, 1605. 

We now come to the question which has long been a subject of 
dispute between Protestants and Catholics — how far the Jesuit 
priests, Greenway and Gerard, and Garnet, the provincial of the 
Jesuits in England, were cognisant of the plot. All the chief con- 
spirators in their different examinations before the Commissioners 
strongly denied that the priests were in their confidence. 8 The only 
one who accused them was Bates. Who was Bates ? He was an old 
servant of Catesby, who, from being employed by his master about 
the house at Westminster, had obtained some inkling of the plot It 
was therefore thought more prudent by the conspirators to let him 
into the secret and bind him by the oath, than to allow him to remain 
a free agent, and perhaps imperil the undertaking, by the disclosures 
he might be tempted to make. According to Father Greenway, 
Bates " was a man of mean station who had been much persecuted 
on account of religion." Once in the presence of the Commissioners, 
the late servant of Catesby made the most damaging disclosures. He 
said that after having taken the oath he confessed to Father Green- 
way the nature of the conspiracy in which Catesby and others were 
engaged ; that Greenway then bade him be " secret in that which 
his master had imparted to him, because it was for a good cause, 

1 State Papers, Domestic. Examinations of Francis Tresham. November 13 
and 29, 1605. 

* Ibid. December 22, 1605. See also Sir £. Coke to Salisbury, March' 
24, 1666. 

* See Examinations of Fawkes and Thos. Winter. November 9, 1605. 


212 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

and that he was to tell no other priest of it ; saying moreover that it 
was not dangerous to him, nor any offence to conceal it." Absolu- 
tion was then given him, and he received the Sacrament in the 
presence of Catesby and Thomas Winter. 1 This assertion Green way 
solemnly denied. Upon his salvation he declared that Bates never 
spoke one word to him as to the plot, either in or out of confession. 
Six weeks later, further revelations were disclosed. Bates appeared 
before the Commissioners, and as in his first examination he had 
compromised the character of Greenway, so now, in his second 
examination, his evidence was most prejudicial to the character of 
Garnet He declared that after the flight of the conspirators he had 
been sent to Garnet with a letter from Sir Everard Digby, asking 
advice from the priest; that Garnet read the letter aloud in the 
presence of Bates, and Greenway coming into the room, he cried, 
" They would have blown up the Parliament House, and were dis- 
covered, and we are utterly undone;" that Greenway then said, 
" There was no tarrying for himself and Garnet ; " and that they con- 
ferred together, meditating flight. 2 

These confessions obtained every credence from the Council, and 
a proclamation was issued for the apprehension of Greenway and 
Garnet, with other Jesuit priests, whilst a sweeping bill of attainder 
was introduced into Parliament confiscating the property of various 
suspected Catholics. Greenway and Gerard managed to effect their 
escape to the Continent, but Garnet, who was in hiding at Handlip 
Hall, the seat of Mr. Abington, failed to defeat the strict search made 
by Sir Henry Bromley throughout the mansion, and was captured in 
a cell, having been for days half-starved, and looking, as he said, 
more like a ghost than a man. He was conveyed to London, lodged 
in the Gatehouse, and in a few days was brought before the Privy 
Council His examination was more searching and more frequent 
than that of any of the other conspirators. 8 At first Garnet declared 
that he had no knowledge of the plot, and refused to inculpate any 
of his colleagues ; but as he saw the evidence against him becoming 
more and more difficult to rebut, he ended by imparting to his 
judges the true nature of his position. Briefly, the substance of his 
examinations was that he had derived his knowledge of the plot from 

1 State Papers^ Domestic. Examination of Thos. Bates. December 4, 1605. 

' Ibid. January 13, 1606. 

• His examinations and declarations amongst the State Papers are February 
13 ; March 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 23, 26, 29 ; April 1, 4, 25, and 28, 1606. The 
report of his conversations with Hall, which were overheard, February 23 and 
25, and March 2, 1606 ; and as to his letters which were intercepted, March 3 fmtj 
4, and April 2, 3, and 21, 1606, /^ ' I 

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The Gunpowder Plot 213 

Catesby and Greenway, under the seal of sacramental confession, so 
that in religion and conscience his lips were entirely closed. He was 
brought to trial March 28, 1606, and charged with "compassing the 
death of the King and the Heir Apparent, and with a design to 
subvert the government and the true worship of God established in 
England, to excite rebellion against the King, to procure foreigners 
to invade the realm, and to levy war against the King." He de- 
fended himself with courage and ability, but the jury, after a delibe- 
ration of but a quarter of an hour, returned a verdict of guilty, and 
he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. 

During the interval that was now to elapse between the sen- 
tence and the execution, the condemned man occupied himself in 
justifying the theory of equivocation, and in admitting the heinous 
character of the crime for which he was about to suffer. " I have 
written a detestation of that action for the King to see/' he says in 
one of his intercepted letters to his devoted friend Anne Vaux, 1 
" and I acknowledge myself not to die a victorious martyr, but a 
penitent thief, as I hope I shall do ; and so will I say at the execu- 
tion, whatever others have said or held before." The following day 
he sent to the council, for the perusal of the King, his " detestation 
of that action." a In this document he freely protested that he held 
" the late intention of the powder action to have been altogether 
unlawful and most horrible ; " he acknowledged that he was bound 
to reveal all knowledge that he had of this or any other treason out 
of the sacrament of confession ; " and whereas, partly upon hope of 
prevention, partly for that I would not betray my friend, I did not 
reveal the general knowledge of Mr. Catesby's intention which I had 
by him, I do acknowledge myself highly guilty to have offended God, 
the King's Majesty and estate, and humbly ask of all forgiveness." 
He concluded by exhorting all Catholics not to follow his example, 
and trusted that the King would not visit upon them the burden of 
his crimes. He was executed May 3, 1606, on a gibbet erected in 
St Paul's churchyard. 8 

The defence of Garnet has given rise to much controversy. It 
has been said by those learned in the lore of the Roman Church, 
that even from his own point of view he was not justified in keeping 
secret a disclosure of a criminal nature, in spite of his knowledge of 
it having been obtained under the seal of confession. Martin Delrius, 

1 StaU Papers % Domestic. April 3, 1606. Indorsed by Sir Wm. Waad, 
" Garnet to Mrs. Vaulx, to be published after his death by her and the Jesuytes.'' 

9 Ibid. April 4, 1606. 

• For an account of his execution, see narrative of an eye witness. StaU 
Pofirs, Domestic, May 3, 1606. 

214 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

a learned Jesuit, in his Disquisitiones Magica^ writes : " The priest 
may strongly admonish the persons confessing to abstain from their 
criminal enterprise, and, if this produce no effect, may suggest to 
the bishop or the civil magistrate to look carefully for the wolf 
among their flock, and to guard narrowly the State, or give such 
other hints as may prevent mischief without revealing the particular 
confession. . . . For instance, a criminal confesses that he or some 
Other person has placed gunpowder or other combustible matter 
under a certain house, and that unless this is removed the house will 
inevitably be blown up, the sovereign killed, and as many as go into 
or out of the city be destroyed or brought into great danger — in 
such a case, almost all the learned doctors, with few exceptions, 
assert that the confessor may reveal it, if he take due care that 
neither directly nor indirectly he draws into suspicion the particular 
offence of the person confessing ; " whilst Bellarmine himself, one 
of the greatest of the authorities of the Roman Church, expressly 
lays down the doctrine that " it is lawful for a priest to break the 
seal of confession, in order to avert a great calamity." l 

But be this as it may, can it be really credited that Garnet derived 
his knowledge of the Gunpowder Plot solely from revelations in the 
confessional ? His own evidence contradicts such a belief. In his 
letter to the King of April 4 he admits that he had offended God as 
well as the King, " in not having revealed the general knowledge of 
Catesby's intention which he had by him." He therefore owns to a 
general knowledge of the plot There can be little doubt but that 
Garnet was throughout familiar with the proceedings of the conspira- 
tors, and constantly advised them as to the course they should follow. 
He was the bosom friend of Catesby, he was his companion in the 
different haunts he frequented, and he had been his associate in two 
previous treasonable actions, one immediately before and the other 
immediately after the death of Elizabeth. Why, if Catesby had 
trusted the priest on two former occasions, should he now have 
withheld his entire confidence on the third? Why do we find 
Garnet so interested in the mission of Fawkes and others to the 
continent to obtain foreign aid ? Why is he, at the time the explosion 
should take place, praying specially for the success of the Catholic 
cause and all prepared for action at the rendezvous in Warwickshire ? 
Why, in his secret conversations with his fellow-prisoner Hall, which 
were overheard and duly reported, does he never make a statement 
to the effect that he was ignorant of the details of the plot, and 
unjustly accused? On the contrary, all he disclosed on those 
1 1 am indebted to Mr. Jardine's excellent work for these quotations. 

The Gunpowder Plot 215 

occasions proves him to have been an active agent in the measures 
of the conspirators. Looking at the conduct of Garnet throughout, 
it seems impossible to dispute the verdict of Lord Salisbury : " All 
his defence," said his lordship, " was but simple negation ; whereas 
his privity and activity laid together proved him manifestly guilty." 
It may well be that at the very commencement of the plot, when all 
the plans were in embryo and success was doubtful, the Superior of the 
English Jesuits was not admitted into the full confidence of the 
conspirators ; but that, as the conspiracy developed and the end it 
had in view seemed assured, he should have been constantly in the 
company of its chief promoters without being cognisant of all that 
was going on, and only, when everything had been completed, let 
into the secret by means of the confessional, is to insult common 
sense. " It is impossible," writes the acute Mr. Jardine, " to point 
out a single ascertained fact either declared by him in his exami- 
nations to the Commissioners or to the jury on his trial, or 
revealed by him afterwards, or urged by his apologists since his 
death, which is inconsistent with his criminal implication in the plot 
On the other hand, all the established and undisputed facts of 
the transaction are consistent with his being a willing, consenting, 
and approving confederate, and many of them are wholly unac- 
counted for by any other supposition. Indeed, this conclusion 
appears to be so inevitable, upon a deliberate review of the details 
of the conspiracy and of the power and influence of the Jesuits at 
that period, that the doubt and discussion which have occasionally 
prevailed during two centuries respecting it can only have arisen 
from the imperfect publication of the facts, and, above all, from the 
circumstance that the subject has usually been treated in the spirit 
of political or religious controversy, and not as a question of mere 
historical criticism. 

Converts have always been remarkable for the venom of their 
opposition to the creed they have deserted, and for their often un- 
scrupulous ardour in support of the new faith. The history of the 
Gunpowder Plot is a curious instance of such conduct With the 
exception of a few, every man engaged in the conspiracy was not 
only, as Fawkes proudly boasted, "a gentleman of name and blood," 
but had once been a Protestant Catesby, though the son of a con- 
vert to the Catholic Church, had been brought up as a Protestant, 
and had married into a Protestant family. John Wright and his 
brother were converts from the Anglican communion. Guy Fawkes 
came of a Protestant stock, and in his youth had been a Protestant. 
Thomas Percy was a convert from Protestantism ; so was Sir 

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216 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Digby ; so was Robert Keyes, who was the son of an Anglican 
vicar; Henry Garnet himself did not forsake Protestantism until he 
had been converted as an undergraduate at Oxford. The Old 
Catholic element amongst the conspirators was in a minority, and 
only represented by the brothers Winter, John Grant of Norbrook, 
and Ambrose Rookwood. We have no evidence that the mass of 
the English Catholics approved of the plot ; on the contrary, such 
testimony as we possess proves their repugnance of it, and their horror 
that such a deed should have been considered as authorised by the 
teaching of their Church. The advocates of the conspiracy were the 
Jesuits — Fawkes and his colleagues were all members of this Order — 
and between the Jesuits and the secular party at that time there was 
so bitter a feeling, that it amounted almost to a schism. The 
majority should not be made to suffer for the crimes of an unscru- 
pulous minority. In accusing the Roman Catholic Church of the 
guilt of this plot, we should, in all fairness, bear in mind that the 
conspirators belonged to a body then hostile to the Church, that the 
Pope knew nothing of the deed that was to be perpetrated, and that 
we have no evidence of any of the Catholics of the secular party 
being accomplices in the Gunpowder Treason. 


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T A FABLE % says Boileau, qffre & V esprit mille agreements divers. 
*-** This is an opinion in which Jie is supported by the general 
consent of mankind Almost every country has its celebrated 
fabulist whom, in return for the agriments he has provided for its 
diversion, that country has delighted to honour. The list of fabu- 
lists, from the Phrygian jEsop or the Indian Bidpay to the Spanish- 
Yriarte or the Russian Krilof, is no short one. Of the leading 
names in that list most of us have some little knowledge. There 
are few who have not heard of Phoedrus, and Juan Ruiz, and 
Abstemius, and Florian, and La Fontaine, and Lessing, and Gay/ 
All of these have dared to borrow the attractive figure of fable for the 
introduction of truth. They have not been alarmed by any vain 
scruples of puerility or deceit. None the less important was the 
internal morality for its tawdry or trifling appearance on the outside. 
The pills given us by these physicians of the mind were not, as they 
seemed to be, of gold or silver, but such external metallic coatings 
sufficed to render attractive that which was of more value than any 
silver or gold. They knew, these writers of fables, that to instruct 
they must also please, and thus their readers who wooed only delight 
were deceived into wisdom. 

The title of " Arabic Fables " will at once suggest to the mind the 
name of Lokman the Sage, who has the honour of being mentioned 
in the Koran, and has been identified by scientific research with 
Balaam. The Arabic philosopher seems to have been powerfully 
affected by the conduct of brutes, and the wise son of Beor was, we 
are aware, unable to withstand the exhortations of his ass. But the 
fables which pass under the name of Lokman are not original, being 
most of them happy imitations of the Greek stories of Syntipas and 
iEsop, and are tolerably well known. The fables in the present 
paper are all taken from the Calcutta edition of the "Arabian 
Nights" — on the whole, the most complete we possess, and that 
chosen by Lane for the original of his excellent version. The stories 
in this book may be divided into two great classes. The one com- 
prises startling events, and is intended chiefly to please the fancy. 

r ° ' ' Digitized by VjOOgfe 

2i8 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Of this class are our old friends " The Three Calenders " and 
"Sindbad." Its origin is probably Persian. The other, totally 
opposed to this, contains short and simple tales, followed by some 
instructive moral — in a word, fables. Its object is to improve the 
heart Its origin is undoubtedly Indian. These two classes of 
tales mixed together and interwoven in the " Thousand and One 
Nights n are all told by the garrulous Shahrazad to the Khaleefeh 
Haroon Alrasheed. Of the former class, most of the stories have 
been translated, but of the latter we have only a few in the English 
or any other version. It is with those which still remain untranslated 
that we are here concerned. 

The tale of " The Mouse and the Weasel," when it was told to 
the Khaleefeh Haroon Alrasheed, delighted him so much that he 
declared with an oath it was a charming parable. It is a strange 
one, inasmuch as the mouse and the weasel are represented in it 
as friends and good neighbours. Now, between these beasts there 
is an ancient and internecine feud mentioned by Aristotle in his 
" History of Animals," in which the weasel is usually superior. In 
^Esop, too, there is a story of a weasel petitioning its human captor 
for life, on the ground that it has rid his house of mice; and in 
Phoedrus an old and crafty weasel, a notable knave, is unable to 
catch rats in any other way than by rolling himself in a flour-trough 
till he has assumed the appearance of a lump of paste. There 
does not seem to be anything in it to call forth the extreme 
measure of admiration of the Khaleefeh. The moral conveyed in 
its conclusion, that greediness and indifference to the results of an 
undertaking lead to destruction, is sufficiently commonplace. It is 
frequently insisted on in ./Esop, as, for instance, in the table of " The 
Weasel and the Fox." A mouse and a weasel — so runs the tale — 
came one day to the house of a poor village farmer. An intimate 
friend of the farmer had fallen sick, and had been recommended by 
his physician to take peeled sesame as a specific for his cure. 
Having got a quantity of this grain from one of his companions, he 
gave it to the farmer to peel for him, who, in his turn, gave it to his 
wife, who soaked it, spread it out to the sun, dried it, and got it 
ready for the sick man. The weasel in the mean time kept an eye 
on the sesame, and, as soon as she saw it in condition, carried off to 
her hole, after a good day's work, the greater part of it In the 
evening the woman came, and, being surprised at the diminution 
of her stock, resolved to sit and watch how it went The weasel, 
returning for some more booty, spied the woman in wait, and began, 
reasoning with herself thus : " This matter is like to have loathsome 

Arabic Fables. 219 

results— I very much fear this woman is on the look-out for me^ 
and he who regards not results has not fortune to friend Now must 
I do something excellent to show my innocence, and wash out 
thereby all that I have committed of guilt." With this she set to 
removing the sesame from her own house to the heap in front of the 
woman, who, observing this proceeding, said : "This weasel surely 
is none of the thief, but she is bringing back the booty from the hole 
of her who stole it, and conferring a kindness upon us by the restora- 
tion of our grain, and may good return to the doer thereof. Howbeit, 
I will stay here, and watch for the real culprit." Now, the weasel 
was well aware of what passed in the woman's heart, so she made for 
the mouse and cried out to her, " Of little profit are they who have no 
regard to the rights of neighbourhood, and remain not steadfast in 
their goodwill/ " That is so," replied the mouse, " and it is my good 
luck, my friend, to have you for a neighbour; but whither tends your 
speech ?" Said the weasel, " The master of this house has brought 
here some sesame, and he and his family have eaten their fill of it 
and left in abundance. So, since they have become sick of it, you are 
more deserving of it than they." This advice delighted the mouse, 
who laughed lightly, and leapt about, and pricked her ears, and 
cocked her tail, her desire of the sesame deceiving her. So she 
arose at once and left her house, and saw the sesame ready dried 
and peeled, shining like a white flame; but the woman sat by it 
watching. Now, the mouse was one of those that regard not conse- 
quences. The woman had provided herself with a short stick, but the 
mouse could not control herself from dashingat the sesame, and devour- 
ing it ; upon which the woman smote her with the stick and smashed 
her head, and her greediness was the cause of her dissolution. 

In this apologue, the excitement of the mouse on hearing of the 
grain, and the reflections of the weasel on seeing the good woman 
of the house, are described with picturesque minuteness and extreme 
skill ; but the real moral of the tale is far from being conducive to the 
ethical amelioration of mankind. It is, indeed, the same as that of 
Coethe's " Reineke Fuchs," which he called his Weltbibel. It repre- 
sents the advantage of clever fraud over simple honesty. And, of a 
truth, the good man has but little chance in this world against the rogue, 
and none at all if the latter be adroit while the former is a fool. The 
mouse was not greedy; she simply intended to gratify a natural appe- 
tite, which is more than can be said of the weasel, whose taste was 
decidedly depraved. Moreover, the mouse seems to have acted in 
all honesty of conviction. She met with an untimely fate; but the 
weasel, who deserved a double punishment for her theft and the base 

22o The Gentleman $ Magazine. 

betrayal of her friend, escaped scot free with the greater part of the 

As if to counteract the possible ill-effect of " The Mouse and the 
Weasel," this story is immediately succeeded by that of " The Crow and 
the Cat" These two lived united in brotherly love, but one day, while 
they were taking their siesta under a tree, almost ere they perceived it, 
a leopard was within a few paces of them. The crow flew off at once to 
the tree's top, but the cat was at his wits' end. "Alas ! my friend," cried 
he to the crow, " have you never a trick now to serve this turn ? " Upon 
which the crow began to comment on the advantages of true friendship, 
and even went so far as to recite verses on the subject This, the 
reader will suppose, was scarcely a suitable time to appeal to the cat's 
poetic taste ; but the leopard, as will be seen in the sequel, was, very 
luckily for the cat, an animal of a lethargic disposition, and made no 
hasty advances. Now, not far off were some shepherds with their 
dogs ; so the crow, descending from the tree, came to them, and lifted 
up his voice and cawed. It is even stated that, in the zeal of friend- 
ship, he struck the face of one of the dogs, who must be supposed to 
have been asleep, with his wing. Up got dogs and shepherds in 
pursuit of the crow, who went on hopping before them till he came 
to the tree, when the dogs with one accord sprang upon the leopard. 
The beast scampered off, though he was already in imagination 
crunching the cat, who was thus saved by this device of the crow. So, 
concludes the Oriental fabulist, does a true brotherly love save and 
defend us from all perils and dangers. 

In another fable, "The Cat and the Mouse," the cat is less fortu- 
nate. This fable, which is full of aphorismatic philosophy, pious doc- 
trine, and poetic allusion, deserves a literal version from the original. 
Its allusions are as learned as the theological conversation of the 
beasts in Dryden's "Hind and Panther." A cat was allowed to 
roam one night in search of something to tear amidst the low-lying 
lands. But he found nought, and was wearied from the severity of 
the cold and the rain, so he took to devising a scheme for himself in 
something profitable. Now, while he was going around in this con- 
dition, lo ! he saw a nest at the bottom of a tree, and approached it, 
and sniffed and purred until he perceived that there was within the 
nest a mouse. Then he circled about it, and meditated how he 
might enter to take it. But when the mouse perceived him, he gave 
him his back, and crawled on his hands and feet to shut the door of 
the nest against him. Thereupon the cat cried with a feeble cry, and 
said to him, "Why doest thou this, O my brother? Lo 1 1 seek refuge 
with thee, that thou mayest do mercy with me. by settling me in thy 

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Arabic Fables. 221. 

nest this night For I am in feeble plight from the greatness of my 
age and the waning of my strength, and I have travelled far in this 
low-lying land ; and how many a time have I called on death for my 
soul that I might be at rest, and now I lie at thy door, cast prostrate 
by the cold and the rain. And I ask thee, by Allah, of thy charity 
to take me by the hand and let me in with thee, and to come to 
me in the portico of thy nest For I am a stranger and wretched, 
and truly it is said, ' He who receives in his dwelling the wretched 
stranger, his abode shall be paradise in the day of judgment' And 
thou, O my brother, art one worthy of gaining this reward by me ; 
permit me, therefore, to pass with thee this night until the morning, 
then I will go as my way leads me." But when the mouse heard the 
words of the cat, he said to him, " How, wilt thou enter my nest, and 
thou mine enemy by nature, and thy livelihood from my flesh? I 
fear that thou wilt deceive me, for this is of thy disposition, so that 
there is no trust in thee — and truly it is said, ' A treaty is of no 
avail between an ardent man and a beautiful woman, nor between a 
poor person and wealth, nor between fire and faggots.' And it 
is not incumbent on me to trust thee upon risk of my own life, for 
truly it is said, ' A natural enemy, when he is weak, becomes more 
powerful.' " Then the cat answered, speaking with the faintest of 
voices and of the most sad condition, "Truly that which thou hast 
spoken of homilies is right, and I will not deny it thee; nevertheless, 
I will ask of thee forgiveness for what has passed of the natural 
enmity which is between me and thee, for truly it is said, * He who 
forgives creatures like himself, him his Creator will forgive.' And, 
indeed, I was before this thy enemy, but to-day am I seeking thy 
friendship. And truly it is said, * If thou desirest thine enemy to be 
thy friend, then do well unto him.' And I, O my brother, will give 
unto thee a covenant of Allah and a compact that I will never harm 
thee. Besides, I have no power to do this ; wherefore, be of good 
confidence, and entreat me well, and receive my covenant and com- 
pact" Then said the mouse, " How shall I receive a covenant from 
him who founded the enmity between me and himself? And it is 
his wont to deceive me ; and if the enmity between us were upon 
some other matter than our blood, it would be of little moment to 
me ; but it is a natural enmity between our lives, and truly it is said, 
' He who trusts his enemy with his life is as he that puts his hand 
into the mouth of an adder.'" Then said the cat — and he was filled 
with wrath — " My bosom is narrowed, and my spirit is weak, and, lo ! 
I am at the moment of departure, and shortly shall die at thy door, 
and my sin will rest upon thee, seeing that thou wert able to deliver 

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222 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

me from what had befallen me, and this is the last of my words with 
thee." Then there came to the mouse the fear of Allah — may he be 
exalted ! — and pity descended into his heart, and he said in himself* 
" He who desires assistance of Allah — may he be exalted 1 — against his 
enemy, let him do a kindness unto him and mercy. And I rely upon 
Allah in this matter, and I will deliver this cat from destruction, that 
I may gain my reward of him." Thereupon the mouse came out 
unto the cat, and caused him to enter into his nest, dragging him- 
self along. Then he abode with him until he was invigorated, and 
had found repose, and was a little healed. Then he began ta be* 
moan his weakness, and the failure of his strength, and the small 
number of his true friends. So the mouse became a companion to 
him, and had a mind for him and drew near to him, and ran round 
him. But as to the cat, verily he crawled to the nest, until he became 
possessed of its outlet, in fear lest the mouse should go out from it. 
So when he desired to go out, he drew near to the cat as he was 
wont And when he was near him, the cat caught him and held him 
between his claws, and bit him and tossed him, and took him in his 
mouth, and raised him from the ground, and cast him down and ran 
behind him, and stung him, and teased him. Upon which the 
mouse cried aloud for help, and sought deliverance from Allah. And 
he began to chide the cat, and to say, " Where is the covenant which 
thou didst covenant with me, and where are thy vows which thou 
didst swear therein? Is this my reward with thee?— and truly I 
caused thee to enter my nest, and trusted thee with my life. But he 
said justly who said, * He who takes a covenant from his enemy, let 
him seek not escape for himself/ and he who said, ' He who gives 
himself up to his enemy brings upon himself necessity of destruction.' 
Nevertheless, I relied upon my Creator, and it is He who will deliver 
me from thee." And while he was in this condition with the cat, who 
was desirous to make an onset upon him and tear him to pieces, lo I 
a hunter, and with him dogs, rapacious beasts, trained to the hunt, and 
one of them passed by the door of the nest, and heard within a mighty 
encounter. So he supposed that in it was a fox tearing something to 
pieces ; and pushed on, descending in order to hunt it out ; then he met 
the cat and dragged her towards him. So when the cat fell into the hands 
of the dog, he became busied about himself, and let loose the mouse, 
alive, without a wound. But as for the cat, the rapacious dog came 
out with him, after he had cut his tendons, and cast him down dead. 
And in respect of these two is justified the saying of him who said, 
" He who is merciful shall in the end meet with mercy, and he who 
oppresses shall be speedily oppressed." In this story may be noticed 

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Arabic Fables. 


one or two inconsistencies which would have disappeared in a ren- 
dering more polite than exact 

The fox plays an important part in Arabic fables, in which he 
generally acts as vilely and comes off as successfully as in the numerous 
fables attributed to -££sop the Phrygian. But the story of "The 
Fox and the Wild Ass," of which, as of that preceding it, a literal 
translation is given, shows that the wicked fox does not always flourish 
like the green bay-tree. A fox used to go out from his dwelling, 
place every day, and run here and there after his subsistence. Now, 
while he was one day among the mountains, lo ! the day declined, and 
he proposed to return, when he met with another fox walking along; 
each of them told his companion his story, with what he had torn to 
pieces for prey. Then said one, " Truly I yesterday fell in with a wild 
ass, and was a-hungered. And for three days I had not eaten, so I re- 
joiced thereat, and thanked Allah — may his name be exalted ! — who 
had bestowed this on me without desert Sol made for the heart of him, 
and ate it and was satisfied. Then I returned to my dwelling-place, 
and three days passed over me in which I found nought to eat, and 
yet I remain full until now." But when the other fox heard his story, 
he envied him his satisfaction, and said in his soul, "I must needs eat 
the heart of a wild ass." So he left eating for days, until he became 
thin and slim-gutted, and was near upon death, and his energy was 
shortened and his vigour, and he lay crouched in his dwelling-place. 
Now, while he was in this condition, one day, lo 1 two hunters came 
along, looking out for game, and there fell in with them a wild ass. 
So they continued the whole of that day in his traces, driving him 
before them. Then one of them cast at him a barbed arrow, and it 
reached him, and entered his body, and arrived at his heart; so it 
killed him before the nest of the fox already mentioned So the 
two hunters came up to the ass and found him dead, and took 
out the arrow which had reached him in his heart But only the 
wood came out, and the barb of the arrow remained in the belly 
of the wild ass. Now, when it was evening, that fox came out 
from his dwelling-place, and was tormented by weakness and hunger. 
Then he saw the wild ass at his door cast forth, and became glad 
with a great gladness, until he almost flew from his gladness. Then 
he said, " Praise be to Allah who has made easy for me my desire, 
without »my trouble, for I scarcely hoped I should meet with a 
wild ass, and none other thing but him— and it may be Allah has 
caused this to happen — and has driven him to me in my place." 
Then he sprang upon him, and clove his belly, and put in his head, 
and was turning about his mouth in his bowels till he found the 

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224 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

heart, then he took it in his mouth for a sweet mouthful ; and swal- 
lowed it But when it was within his throat, the barb of the arrow be- 
came entangled in the bone of his neck, and he was unable either to 
bring it down into his belly, or to bring it up from his throat ; so he 
made sure of destruction, and he said, " Truly it is of no profit to the 
creature to seek for himself beyond what Allah has ordained for him. 
And I, if I had been content with what Allah had ordained for me, 
should not have come thus unto my death ! " 

There is another story of an unsuccessful fox in the fable of 
" The Fox and the Crow," which sounds familiar enough to English 
ears, but has no point of resemblance to the tale in which the fox is 
afflicted with that strange yearning after a piece of cheese. In the 
Arabic story, the tables are turned upon this fox, who certainly 
deserved some punishment for his behaviour to his children. Every 
time he had a child, says the Arabic fabulist, he ate him, waiting, how- 
ever, with judicious self-control, till he was full-grown. At the top 
of the mountain, at the foot of which this fox dwelt, a crow had built 
her nest With this crow the fox determined to establish a fraternity, 
on the grounds of their neighbourhood and their common profession 
of Islam. The crow, an experienced bird, objected that this brother- 
hood would probably be rather of the tongue than of the heart— such 
a brotherhood, in fact, as was between the eater and the eaten. 
The fox, however, professed to allay these scruples by the tale of 
" The Mouse and the Flea." " A mouse had established herself in the 
house of a rich merchant. One night a flea arrived at this merchant's 
couch, and, being athirst, drank his blood. The merchant sat up 
alarmed, and, making a loud outcry, summoned his servants and his 
neighbours. Thereupon they hastened to him, and, tucking up their 
sleeves, commenced to search for the flea, who turned and fled, till 
she came to the mouse's habitation. The mouse, on being supplicated 
to accord the fugitive a refuge, experienced in her turn some little 
anxiety as to her own safety ; but, eventually, being quieted by the 
solemn assertion of the flea that no harm should happen to her, 
granted the asylum prayed for. She, however, advised the flea to be 
abstemious in the matter of the merchant's blood, and quoted some 
elegant verses to the effect that there is great advantage in seclusion 
and content with the gifts of Providence, even though those gifts 
be no more than a morsel of bread and a draught of water a tat- 
tered coat and some coarse salt The flea then passed the day with 
the mouse, and the night with the merchant, taking of him only 
just enough to sustain life. At last the merchant brought one day a 
quantity of deenars, which, before sleeping, he hid under bis pillow. 

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Arabic Fables. 225 

The mouse waxed mightily anxious to possess this wealth, and asked 
the flea to assist her with some device. * How can I be of any 
service,* answered the flea, ' who am not able of my own strength to 
remove a single deenar ? ' However, she made off at once to the 
merchant and gave him a fearful bite, such as she had never before 
given him. The merchant turned on his side, and the flea gave him 
another bite, worse than the first Upon this the merchant, on the 
peevish pin, left his bed, and went to sleep on the stone bench out- 
side his house. Then the mouse, in extreme delight, fell to removing 
his deenars. And such reward as this/' concluded the fox, " may be 
thine for thy good action to me, O acute, intelligent, and discrimi- 
nating crow ! " The crow's parsnips, however, were not to be buttered 
by any soft words, and he replied to the fox with another fable of the 
sparrow, in which he intimated that the old fox was measuring him- 
self with one too strong for him. This ramifying, by the way, of one 
fable into several others, is of a piece with all the tales in the " Arabian 
Nights," and, indeed, with its very framework. Here we have each 
of the beasts, in the original apologue, quoting fables in support of 
his own sentiments. The sparrow, flying by chance over a sheep- 
cote, stops to consider it. While doing so, a large eagle carries off 
a young lamb. The sparrow, animated by the force of example, 
lights on the back of a fat ram, and endeavours to emulate the 
eagle. His feet become entangled in the wool, and so far is he from 
executing his design, that he cannot escape from the shepherd, who 
ties a string to his foot and presents him to his children for a play- 
thing, telling them, when they ask, " What thing is this ? " " This is he 
who measured himself with one too strong for him. M " Such may be 
your case, O fox ! " concludes the crow, " and good-day to you." The 
fox, despairing of any mutual friendship, grinds his teeth and departs 
in tears. The fable of the sparrow is almost exactly represented in 
iEsop, where, however, he becomes a daw. We have the eagle 
making a stoop at the lamb, and taking it off; the daw trying the 
same experiment on a ram, his claws shackled in the fleece, and the 
shepherd catching him and carrying him home to his children. The 
only difference, in fact, is in the conclusion, which would, however, 
have suited equally well the end of the crow in the Arabic fable. 
When the children, in ^Esop's version, ask what thing it is, the father 
replies, " Why, he'll tell you himself that he's an eagle ; but if you'll 
take my word for 't, I know him to be a daw." 

A dictum is attributed to Aristotle confining the region of fable to 
the animal kingdom. The Stagirite would not allow the beings of 
the vegetable world to form any part of its dramat/s persona. This 

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226 The Gentleman 9 s Magazine. 

restriction is usually perceived in the allegorical recitals of both the 
Eastern and the Western world. Occasionally inanimate nature is 
gifted with speech, but very seldom, Jotham's fable of " The Trees in 
the Bible," "The Belly and its Members," and " The Tree and the 
Wedge" in JEsop are examples not in accordance with Aristotle's law. 
If a fable is thus extravagant in fancy, it ought to contain a propor- 
tionately useful moraL It should not be for example like the Chinese 
" Porcelain Maker," which, however ridiculous, seems void of any 
profitable or improving result. In the story the inventor is unable 
to procure fuel to keep up the necessary heat of his furnace. More 
devoted, however, than Palissy to the interest of his art, after having 
consumed all his furniture, he resolves on consuming himself. He 
leaps into the fire, and, being very fat, excellent porcelain is 
obtained by his successor. It is added that for his self-devotion he 
was made a god. A fable, with several morals of indisputable excel- 
lence and importance, called " The Hedgehog and the Woodpigeon," 
concludes this notice of Arabic moral myths. We learn from it, 
besides the success of knavery, the great advantages to be obtained 
from religious pretence, and the remorse which by some sad fatality 
usually attends the aspirant after virtue. Such is the soul, as La 
Fontaine would call it, of the following story : — A hedgehog and 
his wife occupied the foot of a palm-tree, at the top of which a pair 
of woodpigeons had made their nest The hedgehog, envious of the 
ease with which the woodpigeons obtained their food, sought about 
to get their sustenance for himsel£ Having hit upon a likely device, 
he set apart a portion of his house as a chapel, and performed the 
necessary ablutions that are demanded of every Muslim, and the 
prescribed prayers. In short, he affected an austere piety and 
isolated devotion. The woodpigeon, pitying one day, after a religious 
exercise of extreme rigour, the severity of his penance, asked him 
how many years he had spent in this fashion. The hedgehog, who 
had attained a perfect intrepidity of lying, answered, " Thirty." " What 
is your food ?" then asked the woodpigeon, "and what your apparel ?" 
"My food," answered the hermit hedgehog, " is the unripe dates which 
fall from this tree, and my coat is of the thorns and spines, which, while 
they prick me, produce in me, I humbly trust, some spiritual profit 
I abide here to instruct those who wander from the right way, my 
sole design being to free them from the fetters of this world, and to 
render them fit for the service of their Creator." The woodpigeon, 
affected by the hedgehog's piety, desired for himself and wife the 
benefit of the blessing and instruction of this mealy-mouthed reduce. 
" First, then," said the hedgehog, " to avoid the temptation of a 

Arabic Fables. 227 

lickerish luxury, you must pluck from the tree all the ripe dates, and let 
them fall on the ground." The pair of pigeons set at once to work, and 
in a short space the hedgehog has collected the fruit into his own 
hole. Awhile after, the pigeons descended, and looked for the dates, 
but found none. " O honourable hedgehog ! and most guileless of 
preachers ! " then said the woodpigeon, " we find here no trace of 
dates." Quoth the hedgehog, " Maybe the wind has flown off with 
them ; but turn thou from the thing provided to the Provider, the 
fountain of all prosperity. He who has divided the chaps will not 
leave them without rations. 11 So he ceased not his counselling and 
preaching of abstinence till they placed entire trust in him, and 
entered his door, whereupon he sprang upon them and ground his 
teeth. " Where, then," said the ill-starred woodpigeon, perceiving 
his treachery, " where is the night of yesterday ? " 


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THE sudden disappearance of a young Swedish noble from the 
visible sphere of things in the year 1694 was connected by 
the suspicious gossipers of the day with the equally unexplained 
imprisonment of the wife of the Electoral Prince of Hanover, 
afterwards George I. of England, in the Castle of Ahlen. This lady 
was the daughter of the last Duke of Zell and a French gentlewoman 
named D'Olbreuse, whom the Emperor ennobled that the marriage 
might be legal. At the age of sixteen her father, as the result of an 
intrigue of Sophia Duchess of Hanover, married her to George 
against her will and without the consent of her mother ; and when 
Philip Count of Konigsmark, travelling through the different courts 
of Germany, came to Hanover, the disengaged affections of the 
Electoral Princess alighted upon him. Philip paid with his life for 
daring to lift up his eyes in love to one so far above him, and was 
buried under the hearth-stone in one of the rooms of the palace, 
rumour whispering falsely that he had been burnt to cinders in a 
red-hot cauldron ; and the divorced lady languished for thirty-six 
years in her lonely prison, defiant and unconfessing, even when 
confession would have set her free. 

The report of the young noble's death soon reached the Swedish 
capital. To defray the expenses of his tour he had taken with him 
from Stockholm a sum of 100,000 crowns, which he had confided to 
the care of certain Hamburg bankers, who refused to pay it over to 
his three sisters, among whom his inheritance fell to be divided, on 
the plea that there was no evidence of the Count's decease. To 
Dresden the heiresses came, to implore the intercession of Augustus 
II., Elector of Saxony, with the Senate of Hamburg, that justice might 
be done them ; they captivated the hearts of all by their gracefulness 
and beauty ; and here the youngest of them, Aurora von Konigsmark, 
forgetting the warnings of her sisters, the Countesses of Steinbock 
and Lovenhaupt, over-confident in her strength of will and character, 
fell a victim to the wiles and fascination of the royal libertine, and 
became the mother of Marshal Saxe. The story of their courtship 
may be briefly told. A long experience had made Augustus an 

J J or byCjOO 

Marshal Saxe. 229 

expert in the arts of the woman-charmer ; but Aurora for a time 
refused to smile. The Elector, for he was not yet King of Poland, 
had recourse to the clumsy expedient of sending a state official to do 
his courting by proxy, telling him beforehand all the tricks and 
devices he had found successful on previous occasions ; but him the 
bright young countess refused to see. Nothing abashed, his Majesty 
wrote her a love-letter; and, though he got no reply, he ascribed the 
silence to timidity rather than insulted dignity. A second time he 
wrote complaining of her indifference, getting the answer that his 
goodness and condescension compelled her to acknowledge receipt 
of his letter. With this reply in his hand, Augustus felt that he had 
triumphed. The Elector thereafter proposed that the Court should 
take a trip to his palace of Moritzburg, and that the Swedish sisters 
should be asked to go with them. He sent Aurora dresses of great 
richness and beauty and a costly set of diamonds, her sisters receiving 
gifts only inferior to hers. The ladies of the court travelled in the 
costume of Amazons. As the party approached the palace the 
Goddess Diana, attended by her nymphs, jumped out of the forest 
upon the carriage drive, and, making a speech to Mdlle. de Konigs- 
mark, invited her, as her goddess-sister Aurora, to enter the palace 
with her suite, and there receive the homage of the divinities of the 
woods and streams. Shortly after her entrance into it these celestial 
ones did appear, headed by the god Pan and his fauns ; a careless 
eye could easily detect the Elector in the guise of the deity of the 
woods. After refreshments had been served the Court heard the 
cry of the hunters and their dogs, and on looking out of the windows 
saw a stag followed by its pursuers. One to whom the duty had 
been assigned to suggest that the Court should follow the huntsmen 
having duly discharged it, Pan announced that he had horses 
caparisoned and carriages yoked, waiting on the lawn. The stag 
took to a lake near the palace, the dogs following ; by the beach the 
ladies found boats awaiting them to row them to an isle in the 
middle of the lake, which they reached in time for the death. 
Wandering about the islet, they came to a magnificent Turkish tent ; 
on entering it they were received by 24 young Turks, who offered 
them refreshments. On the return of the company to the palace, 
the Elector conducted Aurora into her apartments, which had been 
newly furnished with great taste and splendour ; pictures representing 
the loves of Titan and Aurora were hanging on the walls. " Here, 
mam'selle, you are sovereign, and I am your subject," said the 
Elector, gallantly kissing her hand. At supper the victim of this 
flte found on her plate a bouquet of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and 

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230 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

pearls, and a note declaring her queen of the ball which was to 
follow. She opened the dance with the Elector as her partner, 
and, says an old gossip, "all the ladies wished a lover like the 
Elector, and all the gentlemen a sweetheart like Aurora." This flit 
was followed during five days by all sorts of sports and amusements ; 
and when, a few months afterwards, a babe was born to Aurora, and 
the young mother was at her wits' end for a name, the King solved 
her difficulty by having him christened Moritz, in commemoration of 
the victory he had won by his flatteries and craftiness at Moritzburg. 
On the return of the Court to Dresden, Augustus purchased and 
furnished a mansion for the fair Swede ; and the imperial Lutheran 
abbey of Quedlinburg having timeously lost its abbess by death, his 
majesty issued a congk tTS/ire, permitting the canonesses to elect 
Aurora their superior — an office which conferred on the holder of it 
the right to call herself Madame; and which brought with it a consider- 
able income. Maurice was poor Aurora's only child ; an " accident " 
which baffled the physician's art, though it did not diminish the 
Elector's kindness, nor made him less assiduous in his friendship. 
When he first heard of Aurora's affliction he was beside himself with 
grief ; he sought in war a solace for his sorrow — applying for and 
receiving from the Emperor Leopold the command of his army in 
Hungary. Taking a tearful adieu of the abbess, and commending 
little Maurice, whom he had already ennobled by the name of the 
Count of Saxony, to the care of the ladies, he set out for Belgrade, 
where he distinguished himself as royal persons never fail to do. 
During the rest of his life Augustus found in the beautiful Aurora — 
who was a clever, nimble-minded, sweet little woman, winning the 
esteem and friendship even of the Electress herself by her humility 
and meekness — a trusty political adviser. It was she who stirred in 
him, sunk as he was in his pleasures, the ambition to become 
King of Poland ; it was she whom he nominated as ambassador 
plenipotentiary and extraordinary to Charles XII. when, in 1702, that 
hero had driven Augustus from his throne. The Swedish misogynist 
refused to grant her an audience ; when his eyes fell on the fair face 
and form of the ambassadress, he graciously bowed and, afraid of her 
charms, hastily turned his back. Aurora complained of his incivility 
in the epigrammatic flattery : " that there was at least one person in 
the world who had compelled His Majesty to turn and flee." When 
Charles visited Dresden, she composed and presented to him some 
French verses, in which she represented him as having been endowed 
with gifts by all the gods and goddesses except Venus and Bacchus. 
The Court of Dresden under Augustus II. was the most abandoned 

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Marshal Saxe. 1%\ 

and luxurious of all the Courts of Europe. Its atmosphere was 
fetal to the moral nature of any child or woman that breathed it. 
Augustus himself was, without exception, the greatest libertine the 
world has ever seen. The statements of the Margravine of Baireuth, 
Frederick the Great's sister, have generally to be liberally discounted 
that their net value may be found ; but her assertion that Augustus 
left behind him 354 children is confirmed by others. In the 
historical records of philoprogenitiveness King Priam of Troy makes 
a poor second. Maurice was the flower of the flock — the Hector 
of the 300. His education was all but entirely neglected; he 
rebelled against his governesses and tutors ; he delighted in the noise 
of drums, and enlisted and drilled a regiment of boys of his own 
age. The gossipers, in short, find in his infancy premonitions of the 
military tastes and attainments of his later life, forgetting that the 
same dispositions might be found in every school-boy of moderately 
active animal spirits. His mother, who was an excellent French 
linguist, wished him to excel in that language ; and although Maurice 
learned to speak it with fluency, he was so little grounded in its 
orthography that he could only write it phonetically. He was quite 
conscious of the imperfection of his elementary education, as the 
following letter will show. It was prompted by the fact that the French 
Academy wanted to elect the conqueror of Fontenoy a member— an 
honour which Saxe had the sense to decline. The Academy 
expostulated, and asked why he refused the honour ; here is the 
Marshal's own account, given in a letter to his friend and benefactor, 
Marshal Noailles : " It has been proposed to me, my master, to 
become a member of the Academy. I answered that I do not even 
know how to spell, and that it would become me as a ring would a cat. 
The reply I got was that Marshal Villars did not know how to read, 
let alone write, and that he was a member. This is persecution. I 
don't want to be made a laughing-stock, and that will be the effect of 
this proposal." That the Marshal's estimate of his literary attainments 
was not far from the fact will be obvious if we give a sentence or two 
of the above letter in the original : " lis veuleme fere de laCademie, 
sela miret com une bage a un chas " ; a phonetic guess for " lis 
veulent me faire de l'Academie, cela m'iroit comme une bague a un 
chat" He inherited the great muscular strength of his father, who, 
it is averred, could break a horse-shoe with his hands. Jostled 
once on the streets of London by a scavenger, Saxe expostu- 
lated with the fellow for his rudeness. The broken English 
confirmed the scavenger's suspicion that the gentleman, besides 
being well-dressed, was a foreigner, and therefore a doubly 

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232 T/te GentUmaris Magazine. 

legitimate object of insult; he gave for answer a gesture of 
contempt— either threw himself into boxing attitude, or used the 
street-boy's digital sign of derision, which Saxe himself employed after 
the capture of Iglau to acquaint Marshal Yalori with bis estimate of 
his military capacity — die great Valori, it is written, answered Saxe 
after the same fashion, and the two commanders stood glaring at 
each other with thumbs at nose and fingers spread, till Saxe grew 
tired of attitudinising, and jumped into bed. Mortal flesh could stand 
the indignity when a French marshal in uniform and with jewelled 
fingers was the vis-d-vss f but not when it was a street-sweeper ; and 
so Saxe, turning his insulter round, caught him by nape and seat, 
and, balancing him horizontally above his head for a moment, sent 
him by the projectile's curve into the heart of his own well-filled 
mud-cart, and passed on without further comment. He had the state* 
liness, stature, and good looks of his father, which, as Pollnitz says, 
" made his father very much in love with him ;" black eyes full of 
lustrous shining, passionate rather than intellectual ; highly arched 
eyebrows and a great mane of black hair. His wild career— for, in 
addition to a powerful frame, another legacy his father left him was 
a gross and undisciplined nature— and these two, it may be said, 
exhaust the patrimonial bequests — his wild career made him a 
premature wreck. In 1744, when he was only fifty years of age, 
Voltaire met him in the streets of Paris a few days before he left for 
the campaign of Fontenoy, and asked him how he, labouring under 
consumption and dropsy, could think of going to the camp. " Sir ! " 
replied the Marshal sententiously, " the question is not about life but 
duty." He was so feeble, that during the battle he could not wear a 
breast-plate ; he wore a sort of buckler, made of several folds of 
quilted taffeta, which rested on the pommel of his saddle when, for a 
minute, he was able to mount his horse ; he was carried about the 
field in a basket woven of withes of willow, sucking a leaden bullet 
to quench an intolerable thirst. 

His moral lawlessness, while little more than a youth, inspired his 
mother with the wish to have him married, in the hope that marriage 
would civilise and domesticate him. At the age of eighteen she married 
him to the youthful Countess de Loben, a maiden of good family, and 
one of the richest heiresses of Silesia ; the youthful bridegroom, how* 
ever, showed considerable reluctance, which was not overcome till he 
learned that his bride's name was Victoire, and that, besides being 
wealthy, she was beautiful. But it was the name — a favourable 
omen for an ambitious young soldier — that chiefly secured his ac- 
quiescence in the proposed match. The ceremony was performed 

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Marshal Saxe. 333 

in the presence of the whole court ; and for several days Augustus 
gave a series of magnificent files and festivals. One day the Court 
appeared in Turkish costume, the King being dressed as a Sultan should 
be; a body of Saxon soldiers, habited as Janissaries, was drawn up 
in the court-yard of the palace. The guests, on their arrival, were 
served by twenty-four negroes M with sherbet, coffee, and sweetmeats 
in great vessels of massy silver ; nor were scented waters and per- 
fumed handkerchiefs forgot ; then followed a comedy with entertain- 
ment of Turkish dances;" afterwards supper, the guests sitting 
cross-legged on cushions, and the courses being served after the 
fashion of Turkey by young negroes, a divertissement by tumblers, 
rope-dancers, and acrobats going on meanwhile. After supper the 
company was conducted to the garden, which was lit up by 
thousands of crystal lamps ; there was tilting and shooting at the 
mark, which when hit sent up a sky-rocket that sprinkled the 
heavens with countless falling stars. Dancing was kept up in the 
palace till five in the morning, the ball concluding with a sumptuous 
breakfast at which the bedraggled and drowsy survivors of the night's 
dissipation made pretence of breaking a fast which had no beginning. 
The happiness of the marriage was in inverse ratio to the grandeur 
with which it was celebrated ; a slow alienation crept in between 
the pair, provoked and fed by the reiterated infidelities of the youth- 
ful husband. In vain did Augustus and Aurora try to effect a 
reconciliation. Saxe promised amendment, and then made love to 
his lady's maid before her eyes. Her tears, reproaches, ravings, and 
wrongs embittered him against her ; and he longed for a dissolution 
of the marriage tie either by her death or by divorce. The latter was a 
dangerous alternative, for, by the laws of Saxony, the guilty one paid 
for his misdeeds with his life. With the King for a father, Saxe thought 
that he might venture the risk ; he took care, however, to extract a 
pledge from his father that the royal prerogative would be used to 
deliver him from the gallows. The necessary proof was furnished by a 
scene prearranged between the husband and the wife ; six domestics 
were stationed so that their testimony would be too authoritative to 
be shaken, and the Senate condemned Saxe to death ; the King pro- 
nounced a free pardon and took his son home with him to the palace 
to dine. A few years after the divorce the Count proposed to 
indemnify himself for the wrongs a dead Dresden minister had done 
him by marrying his well-dowered widow, still young and beautiful ; 
but the same wrongs and jealousies — the same evil shadow that 
dogged his conjugal intentions all his days — resulted in the rupture of 
the courtship. It was clear that Saxe's habitual impecuniosity was 

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234 -^k Gentleman s Magazine. 

to be relieved, not by matrimonial, but by military successes and 

His military career began almost with his birth, October 28, 
1696, and continued till the day of his death, November 30, 1750. 
There is hardly a European nation for whom and against whom he 
did not fight in the course of his life ; and every promotion he 
received was the reward of valour, skill, and daring in the battle-field 
or on the ramparts of beleaguered cities. At the age of twelve he 
left Dresden, dressed as a simple foot-soldier, to join the armies of 
Marlborough and Eugene, whither his father had gone, incognito, 
before him. When he arrived the allies were investing Lille. Here, 
it is averred, his heart first felt the movements of tenderness. The 
love letters which passed between Maurice and " Ma chfere Rosette," 
preserved in a " Life " published at Mittau in 1752, are full of pro- 
testations of an undying affection, which died when the girl's father 
threw her into a convent ; a little " Juliette," which lived only a few 
weeks, is gravely asserted to have been the result of this intrigue. The 
commander of the Saxon contingent of the allied forces sportively 
named the lad his aide-major-general ; and gossip, surely with a 
twinkle in its eye, though it speaks grave and dull, records that 
several times he crossed the ditches when the town was stormed, 
cheering the heart of his sire. His martial bearing at the sieges of 
Mons and Tournay, and at the battle of Malplaquet, increased the 
admiration with which the chiefs of the army regarded the boy- 
soldier. Two years later the lad offered his sword and services to 
Peter the Great, who had invested Riga. Here, however, he stayed- 
only two months, returning to Flanders, where his intrepidity at die 
siege of Bethune provoked from Marlborough the acknowledgment 
" that he had not another man in his army who cared so little for 
danger" ; but the cautious Eugene counselled him " not to confound 
recklessness with bravery," warning him that the leaders of the army 
well knew how to distinguish between them. At this period he 
asked a commission and a regiment from the English Government — 
a request which was refused ; and the refusal inspired him with a bitter 
resentment and hatred for perfidious Albion. At the age of sixteen, 
Augustus, satisfied with his experience and convinced of his capacity, 
named him Colonel of a regiment of Saxon cavalry, which he drilled 
and instructed in some evolutions of his own invention, afterwards to 
be improved on when he led the armies of France to victory. He 
had the satisfaction to be ordered with his regiment to the siege of 
Stralsund, counting the joy of seeing and fighting Charles XII., who 
had wrought his father's thrones such harm, the highest happiness he 

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Marshal Saxe. 235 

as yet had tasted. It is said that the majesty with which he saw the 
Swedish hero demean himself in one of the attacks on the fortress 
filled him with life-long veneration and respect When war broke 
oat between Austria and Turkey in 1717, he rushed off to Belgrade 
to place his sword at Prince Eugene's disposal ; after the fall of . 
Belgrade peace, to his great regret, was proclaimed. In 1720 he 
appeared at the Court of the Regent Orleans ; he was graciously 
received, and offered a commission as " Mar&hal de Camp " in the 
armies of France ; with his grateful acceptance of it his desultory 
and peripatetic fighting came to an end ; he ceased to be a soldier 
of fortune, and became a soldier of France. 

The name and fame of the youthful adventurer led the Estates 
of Courland and Senigallia to invite him to become a candidate for 
the throne of the united duchies. He left Warsaw for the shores of 
the Baltic with a " diplomacy " on his lips ; for he publicly announced 
that he was going to solicit the Russian Court to restore him certain 
possessions of his mother's, which had been confiscated during the 
last Swedish war. At Mittau he visited the Dowager Duchess of 
Courland, afterwards the Empress Anne of Russia, whose aid he 
asked in the furtherance of his candidature, and who, by the lips of 
an interpreter, assured him of her wishes for his success. The 
Count, who never saw a woman without wooing her, no matter 
whether her attractive or repulsive qualities predominated, at once 
brought the artillery of the eyes to play on the plump widow ; and, as 
a quaint Courish chronicler puts it, " changed her esteem into friend- 
ship, and her friendship into love." The Count's friends in France, 
hearing of the adventure, assessed themselves to raise, equip, and 
pay a small army of 3,000 men ; they engaged a recruiting sergeant 
at Lifege to enlist all the deserters and rascals he could find, no 
matter to what nation they belonged, and march them to Lubeck; 
and thence ship them to Courland. Saxe's lady " friend," Adrienne 
Lecouvreur, with whose name the Eastern and Western hemispheres 
are now familiar, pawned her jewels and trinkets, and cast the 
proceeds, 40,000 livres, into the fund. All this enthusiasm resulted 
in a levy of only 1,800 men, a motley rabble which was reduced by 
desertion to 800 men before the port of embarkation was reached. 
In June, 1726, Saxe fondled in his hand the diploma of his election, 
signed by all the nobles and councillors of the Duchies, who pledged 
themselves to eternal loyalty and obedience ; the document, a few 
weeks later, possessed only an antiquartetn value ; for, at the sugges- 
tion of Catherine I. of Russia, the signatories quietly revoked it The 
imperial suggestion was tabled before the assembled counsellors by 

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236 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Prince Menchikoff at the head of 3,000 men; the Prince 
added that he had other 20,000 reasons which, if necessary, 
he could produce within six days, to persuade the Diet of the 
wisdom of compliance. Menchikoff next turned his attention to 
the new Duke. Saxe was engaged reading a congratulatory 
letter from the Primate of Poland, when he heard a noise 
as of soldiers marching ; looking out of the window, he saw 
that his residence was invested by 800 Russians ; they had orders to 
take him dead or alive. The Count's martial temperament responded 
with delight and alacrity to a condition of things that would have 
filled another with dismay : he prepared for a siege, barricaded the 
doors of the mansion, and distributed what arms he had among his 
suite and servants, who altogether numbered 60. The house was 
built of wood, and, as the Russians were instructed to burn it if the 
Count refused to surrender, escape seemed impossible. The 
besieged lost two men during the first day of the attack; the 
besiegers 60, among whom was the commanding officer. In the 
dead of night there stole from the beleaguered mansion a slim 
form, clad in rich military attire, hoping under the shelter of the 
gloom to escape the vigilance of the besiegers, but in vain. The 
officer to whom the command had fallen, thinking that he had 
secured no other than Saxe himself, marched with his troops towards 
Menchikoff 's camp, where the captive proved to be the daughter of 
a shopkeeper of the town, who had been "dressed by the Count's 
valet in a suit of his master's clothing to facilitate her escape and 
shield her reputation. The fragile fair lost on the same night a 
lover and found a husband, for Menchikoff ordered the officer to 
marry his prisoner. In the mean time, Saxe himself had taken 
refuge in the castle of his betrothed, the Dowager Duchess Anne 
Ivan'na, Peter the Great's niece, who travelled to St. Petersburg to 
plead her lover's cause with her aunt, with such success that Catherine 
ordered her troops to evacuate the Duchy. But a new enemy to 
Saxe's pretensions arose in an unexpected quarter. Poland claimed 
the suzerainty of Courland ; and, at the assembly of Polish notables 
at Grodno, a resolution was passed demanding the revocation of the 
Count's election, and his expulsion from Courish territory. His 
father Augustus II., whose sovereignty of Poland brought him 
mortifications innumerable without a compensating penny of income, 
was forced by the necessities of his position, and with a sore heart, 
to declare the nobles of Courland rebels and his beloved Maurice 
a usurper. It is needless to say that " Maurice, by the grace of God, 
Count of Saxony, Duke of Courland and Senigallia, Marshal of the 

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Marshal Saxe. 237 

camps and armies of the very Christian King/' as he was fond of 
describing himself, struggled valorously to maintain his rights and 
defend his throne, using bribes, expostulations, and threats to disarm 
his foes, to win the lukewarm, and to confirm the faithful. But 
when Russia, under the new Emperor, Catherine's grandson, con- 
spired with Poland to chase him out of the Duchy, he felt that it 
was futile to contend with destiny. One alone proved faithful to 
him, and she was his sweetheart, Anne ; but her friendship he forfeited 
by his fickleness and folly. At Mittau, while residing in her palace, 
he made love to the ladies of her court, and joked with them about 
the rotundity of her figure and the rubicundity of her face. With 
one of them he established the most cordial relations. Carrying her 
on his shoulders one midnight from the window of his room to 
her own, he gave such a fright to an old woman with a lantern in 
her hand that the hag screamed aloud, waking the sleepers and 
summoning the watchers to the spot to leam the cause of the 
disturbance. They found the Count and the lady lying in the snow 
above the affrighted woman. Saxe had tried to kick the lantern out 
of her hand, and, in doing so, had slipped and fallen with his 
precious freight, knocking the beldam down. Anne stormed, and 
wept, and, listening to the coaxing tones of the flatterer, who had to 
plead through an interpreter — for the two knew no common vehicle 
of articulate communication — forgave, and loved and trusted again. 
But when his adversities were accumulating around him, Anne's 
friends took courage and told her so many stories of his infidelities, 
that the guileless, dull-witted lady, whose mind was buried beneath 
a superincumbent mass of fat, travelled to Dantzic to meet him in 
his flight, and request him, as she had heard the Russian Court was 
negotiating her marriage with the Prince of Hesse- Hamburg, never 
to think of her again ! 

The death of Augustus II., in 1733, vacated several offices and 
honours in Europe — the throne of Saxony and Poland, and the 
dignity of arch-profligate of the age. To the latter post Maurice 
succeeded; while his half-brother, the only child of the 354 across 
whose escutcheon no bar sinister fell, succeeded to the sovereignty of 
Saxony. The throne of Poland was filled by popular election ; each 
vacancy was the occasion of intrigue on the'part of the neighbouring 
states, and of civil war among the adherents of the rival candidates, 
who hired mercenaries, wherever they could get them, to enable 
them to invade the territory over which they aspired to rule. The 
salary the Poles paid the Sovereign of their choice was what he 
could steal. The candidates between whom the election ultimately 

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238 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

lay were Stanislaus Lesczinsky, the father-in-law of Louis XV., who 
aspired to return to the throne from which he was ejected in 1709, 
and who was championed by France ; and Saxe's half-brother, the 
new Elector, who was favoured by the Czarina and Charles VI. Both, 
with true Polish logic, were declared King by the Diet ; the one on 
the 1 2th September, 1733 ; the other on 5th October ; and the best 
man for the office was he who could fight best for it or get others to 
fight Saxe, now a French soldier, refused the command of his 
brother's troops, and promptly obeyed orders to report himself at 
the head-quarters of Marshal Berwick. France soon withdrew her 
support from Stanislaus, who fled disguised as a cattle-dealer from 
the kingdom which he had entered a few weeks before disguised as 
a hawker ; and the dispute developed into a Franco- Austrian War 
which lasted two years ; the price Austria paid for peace was the 
cession of Lorraine. To Saxe himself the war brought promotion 
and glory ; after the capture of Philipsburg, where Berwick was 
slain, Louis XV. handed him his commission as Lieut-General. 
These were the halcyon days for soldiers of fortune, when fighting 
was regarded as the final cause of man's existence, and peace was 
looked on as something abnormal ; and the wars of the Polish 
succession were hardly concluded when the wars of the Austrian 
succession arose. The Elector of Bavaria, having made an alliance 
with France, protested against the coronation of Maria Theresa, and 
declared war. Louis placed an army under his leadership, with Saxe 
as one of the generals of division. Sent forward to lead the van of 
the army, our hero victoriously marched it 200 miles, and sat down 
before the township of Prague; where the Saxon allies of the Elector, 
under the leadership of Maurice's half-brother, Rutowsky, met them. 
" What are we to do now? " said Marshal Broglio, the French com- 
mander-in-chief. " Do ! " said Saxe ; " take the town — storm it; we 
are all lost if we don't ! " and in the bright moonlight the two men 
who first leaped from the battlements into the town were Maurice 
and his brother. "Ah! brother," said the former; " I am first; I 
am the elder, and was bound to be here before you." But George 
of England had to jump on die stage as peace-compeller and win 
his battle of Dettingen; an attention which the French court 
acknowledged by assembling an army at Dunkirk for the invasion of 
Scotland ; appointing no less skilful a soldier than the Comte de 
*Saxe as Prince Charlie's chief of the staff. The history of England 
would probably have been different from what it is if this project had 
not miscarried, there being only a Sir John Cope and a Duke of 
Cumberland to resist the invaders. Of the latter Saxe always spoke 

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Marshal Saxe. 239 

with the kindliest contempt; but that was after he had thriven 
through his grace's incapacity as revealed in his campaign of the 
Netherlands. " I consider the Duke," said he, " to be the greatest 
general of the age, for he has maintained 100,000 men on a spot of 
ground where I should not have thought of feeding as many rabbits." 
The Duke, forgetting Fontenoy, feebly retorted " that his men were 
well enough fed to fight the French on any ground." But iGolus 
and Neptune, who have so often interposed to protect the defenceless 
shores of England, again appeared as dei ex machind : all the fighting 
men of these suburban realms were on the continent defending the 
metropolitan principality of Hanover, whose sacred soil for a 
generation or two it was England's raison d'Hre to protect from 
the footsteps of the invader. The government of the day ransacked 
the gaols in search of gallant defenders of British rights and liberties, 
and sait the press-gang abroad ; to their great relief, however, a 
storm of wind and wave arose, turning several of the French 
transports bottom uppermost, and obliging the others to seek again 
the shelter of Dunkirk harbour ; and the stertorous breathing of 
England was abated. Louis, who had now resolved to command in 
person the army of Flanders, in order to show the confidence he had 
in the experience of Saxe, handed him his Marshal's baton and made 
him chief of the staff; giving him supremacy not only over the other 
French marshals, but even over the princes of the blood Saxe, in 
that gasconade — a word which English taciturnity has improved by 
abbreviating into "gas"— dear to every Frenchman's soul, replied 
that "his only wish was to deserve the honour as well as M. 
VTurenne, 4hd to die in the same manner ; " adding, " that is, on the 
field of battle ; " — the latter prosaic phrase being an anti-clim&ft, 
due, doubtless, to some survival in him of his heavy, lumbering 
German nature. It was Madame de Chiteauroux who persuaded 
Louis to lead his army in person ; of all European questionable 
.women she was the only one for whom Frederick the Great had any 
respect "Of all the women whom Louis XV. loved," said he, 
"this was the only one who cared for his honour and glory; all 
the rest were really the enemies of his fame ; she was truly worthy 
of being loved by so great a king ; and, see ! I have. her portrait in 
my cabinet" Marshal Wade, Cumberland, Menin, Ipres, Fontenoy, 
Brussels, Antwerp, Mons, Charleroi, Laufeldt, Namur, Maestricht, 
and the rest — these are names which a patriotic English gossiper 
begs to be allowed to pass by with the bare articulation of them. 
With what celestial pity these victorious Frenchmen treated their 
pigmy opponents 1 A company of Parisian comedians amused 

24c The Gentleman's Magazine. 

them with acted satires on the vanity and stupidity of the English. 
In one piece which they played, Clown was an English officer, whom 
Harlequin asks : "Where are you going ? " 

"To capture Lille." 

" But you have too few soldiers ! " 

"Oh ! don't care; an Englishman will beat five Frenchmen I 
hurrah, boys ! " 

" But where is your artillery? " 

" Ods, man ! * scratching his head, " we have forgot it ; let me 
think ; it is at Ostend or Antwerp, if it has escaped the storm." 

In the succeeding scene Clown comes in with his arms and one 
leg off; but declares that he still rises to preferment 

" What are ypu now?" 

"I'm Lieutenant-Gen eral now. But one thing grieves me : the 
French rascals, whom we have thrashed well, have run away, taking 
all my soldiers with them." 

In the last scene he returns without a head. 

" Further promotion, I hope ? " 

" Yes ; I'm Commander-in-Chief now ! " 

" Good ! Mr. Clown, you have two wooden arms and one 
wooden leg ; but you must have another qualification yet, and that is 
a wooden head." 

In this company of comedians there was a second-rate actress, 
called Chantilly, whose acting, education, and manners were, accord- 
ing to contemporary writers, low and vulgar. She was by no means 
handsome or talented. It was in this type of woman that thg great 
Marshal found his ideal. She hated Saxe, and spoke slightingly of 
his prowess as a lover; but had to dissemble for the sake of his 
money. Her affections had settled on a journeyman pastry-cook, 
who had relinquished his father's trade to write comic operas, and 
who afterwards distinguished himself in that province of literature. 
One night, during the siege of Maestricht, she and her sweet- 
heart eloped. It was a night of wind and rain. So fierce was 
-the tempest, that the bridges were swept away, and the com- 
munications of the French army endangered. An aide-de-camp 
entered the Marshal's bed-room in the morning, to report the 
disasters of the night He found Saxe in great affliction, and 
concluded that his report had preceded him. He began to 
soothe his disconsolate chief. "The misfortune," said he, "will 
soon be repaired." 

" Alas ! " was the heartrending reply ; " there is no remedy. I 
am undone 1 " . 

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Marshal Saxe. 341 

"Oh, I hope not! Surely it will not be attended with such 
awful consequences ? " 

After half-an-hour's cross-talking, the Marshal discovered what 
his visitor was thinking o£ 

" Pshaw ! " said he ; u who could have thought you were talking 
about some broken bridges ! Well put that right in three hours. 
But Chantilly is gone 1 They have taken Chantilly away from me !" 

Saxe was mean enough to ask for a Uttre- de-cachet compelling 
Chantilly, now Madame Favart, to return to the camp. She was not 
allowed to leave him till the day of his death. She witnessed his 
expiring agonies. The Marshal seems to have been a favourite with 
the French actresses. Lecouvreur's name has already been men- 
tioned After her came Carton, whose witticisms live in the annals 
of gossip, and who followed him to the camp of Muhlberg, in Saxony, 
and there had the honour of dining with the fathers of her lover and 
of Frederick the Great, and Mademoiselle Navarre, who afterwards 
married a Mirabeau. 

The mention of Frederick the Great's name recalls the few times 
on which he and Saxe met, and the courtesies which were exchanged 
between them. The first was the occasion of Frederick William's 
visit to Dresden, in 1728, when the dining, drinking, and debauchery, 
and chiefly the expense these involved, appalled the frugal King ; the 
next was the return visit to Berlin, in the same year, when Augustus, 
aged 50, a premature wreck, diseased, and with two of his toes lost, 
went a- wooing Frederick William's eldest daughter; again, at the 
camp of Muhlberg, a scenic phantasmagoria got up by the magnificent 
Saxon Elector; and, finally, at Potsdam, in 1749, after the peace of 
Aix-la-Chapelle, when Frederick received Saxe with great distinction 
— military pageants were elaborated in his honour, and on his depar- 
ture Frederick presented him with his picture, and a snuff-box richly 
set with diamonds. 

On the proclamation of peace, Saxe retired to Chambord, which 
Louis had presented to him in life rent, " and his wife after him, if 
he should many." The decree graciously conferred on the Marshal 
and his possible spouse, and the eldest of their male descendants, 
the right to enter the Louvre in their carriages, and to la dame son 
tpouse the privilege of sitting on a stool in the presence of the 
Majesties and Infants of France. Three pieces of cannon which 
were captured from the English, and three captured from the Hes- 
sians, were despatched to ornament the castle. Saxe found the 
tranquil pleasures of peace somewhat insipid, and he had thoughts of 
emigrating to the West Indies— a design against which England and 

vol. ecu. no. 1S08. R 

242 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Holland lodged protestations with the French Court, and which he 
thereupon relinquished. ' At Chambord the Marshal lived like a 
baron of the feudal times. In his kitchen he had thirty- five cooks ; 
he needed them to provide entertainment for a regiment of Uhlans, 
which the King permitted him to levy and drill, and for a company 
of actors and actresses he had hired for his own private theatre. 
His hospitality to Mademoiselle de Sens is said to have cost him 
40,000 livres. He persuaded Louis on one occasion to accompany 
him to Brest A sham sea-fight was arranged. " Your Majesty's 
troops," said the Marshal, " have now conquered your enemies, and 
your navy would do the same with the same encouragement ; that is 
all the difference between you and the people there " — pointing to 
the white cliffs of England. 

At Chambord, after writing his " Military Speculations," Saxe 
died. When Senac, the King's doctor, visited him, he looked affec- 
tionately on him, and gave utterance to this beautiful and philosophic 
sentiment : " You here see me, my friend, come to the end of a 
pleasing dream ; such is the course of human greatness : it is nothing 
more than an illusion." 

Voltaire, writing of his soldiership, says : "To camp and decamp 
at the proper times, to cover his own country, to maintain his army 
at the expense of the enemy, to invade their country when they 
advance on his, to render force useless by means of superior abilities 
—these are the masterpieces of the military art, and these Saxe put 
in practice." 

Poetic France mourned " the greatest general she ever had " in a 
conceit plagiarised from the English poet's epigram on the world's 
three great poets : 

In Fabius, Rome a warrior-statesman found ; 
Carthage, in Hannibal a chief renowned ; 
France in her Saxon sees, with proud delight, 
The Roman head and Punic arm unite. 
Again : 

Three generals lived in ancient wars renowned- 
Skilled in encampments, Pyrrhus kept his ground ; 
Marceilus marched on spur to win the day ; 
While Fabius, halting, conquered by delay ; 
Now Saxe, when we conceived such talents gone, 
Encamps, halts, marches, conquers, all in one. 

France buried him, with "a nation's lamentations," in the Lutheran 
Church of Strasburg. An elegant epitaph records his greatness and 
her gratitude ; only, as he lived and died a Lutheran, she refused 
him Christian burial 

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The Comet. 

THE following letter by our greatest spectroscopic observer 
appeared in The Times. It contains much profound meaning 
in a few words ; but it is very probable that their significance 
is by no means understood by the majority of readers. Therefore 
J will take it as the text of a note on this interesting subject : — 

Si*, — On Friday night I obtained, after one hour's exposure, a photograph on 
* gelatine plate of the more refrangible part of the spectrum of the comet which is 
now visible. This photograph shows a pair of bright lines a little way beyond H 
in the ultra-violet region. They appear to belong to the bright spectrum of carbon 
(in some form) which I observed in the comets of 1866 and 1868, in the visible 
spectrum. There is also in the photograph a continuous spectrum in which the 
Fraunhofer lines can be seen. These show that this part of the comet's light 
was reflected solar light. 

This photographic evidence supports the results I obtained in 1868 from a 
telescopic comet, showing that comets shine partly by reflected sunlight and partly 
by light of their own ; and, further, that the spectrum of this part of their light 
Indicates the presence in the comet of carbon, possibly in combination with 
hydrogen. William Huggins. 

Observatory, C/f/er Tulu Hill, S. IV., June 26. 

The photograph was taken on a gelatine plate prepared with 
bromide of silver, by a recently perfected process, which renders the 
plate so sensitive that a portrait of a brightly illuminated object may 
be obtained in less than one thousandth part of a second. Such ex- 
treme sensitiveness was necessary in order to obtain, even after one 
hour's exposure, a picture of such a faint ghost of a spectrum as can 
be obtained by outspreading and diluting the light collected from so 
faintly luminous an object as this comet 

Hie first conclusion of Dr. Huggins, expressed in the last para- 
graph; is- based on the- following .general facts : — 

The band of rainbow colours, formed by dispersing the rays of 
the sun,- is crossed by a multitude of fine black lines. No other 
source of light displays this same set of lines ; but the solar rays, 
whether caught as they shine directly from the sun or as they are 
reflected from any object such as the moon, a cloud, a sheet of 

' £2 Digitized by V^OOQTC 

244 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

paper, a whitewashed wall, &c, all display the continuous band of 
rainbow colours crossed by this multitude of lines always occurring 
with absolute immobility in precisely the same positions. 

Therefore the comet, showing such a spectrum, contains some- 
thing that reflects the light of the sun. The extraordinary lightness 
of cometary matter suggests the probability that this reflection is 
effected by cloudy vapour. 

The second conclusion, that the comet contains carbon, " pos- 
sibly in conjunction with hydrogen/' is reasoned out thus : 

When the light emitted by a self-luminous gas or vapour of mode- 
rate density is outspread as above by the spectroscope, we find that, 
instead of a rainbow band including all the colours blended by grada- 
tion into each other, there appear isolated bands or lines of light located 
according to the composition of the gas or vapour emitting the light, 
this location being absolutely and definitely fixed for each particular 
element or compound; so much so, that, by determining the spectral 
image of known substances, the composition of distant and intangible 
self-luminous objects may be inferred. To use the metaphor of 
Bacon, light is put to the torture and made to confess the composi- 
tion of its source ; and, more than this — far more than Bacon dared 
to dream — it is made to write its own confession in clearly legible 

Such was the writing which Dr. Huggins extorted from the comet 
by the one hour's exposure of the sensitive gelatine plate. 

This confession of our visitor is very curious : to me it appears 
most marvellous and suggestive. In the first place, it adds another 
link to the chain of evidence connecting comets with the meteoric 
particles that occasionally strike our atmosphere and are heated to 
combustion point by the violence of this collision. These, when 
thus incandescent, display indications of carbon or hydro-carbon 

Shiaparelli has traced a remarkable connection between the zones 
of meteorites and the orbits of comets. The great meteoric shower 
of 27th November 1872 came just when and where one of the frag- 
ments of Biela's comet was due. 

According to Mr. Hind, one of our greatest authorities on 
cometary movements, we passed through the tail of a comet on 30th 
June 1 86 1. 

All these facts, and others that might be added, indicate that, 
during the long ages of the world's history, many cometary collisions 
may have occurred besides the ordinary millions of millions of 
meteoric showers. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Science Notes. 245 

What, then, must have happened if these were composed either 
wholly or partially of carbon or hydro-carbon, as the spectroscope 
indicates? They. must have fed our atmosphere with continually 
increasing accumulations of carbonic acid supplied from beyond the 
world. If so, we ought to find indications of increasing supplies of 
carbon as the world has advanced in age. This I think is the case. 
Very little carbon can be discovered in the granite rocks. 

To this it may be replied that the igneous fusion of the granite 
would dissipate the carbon. But let us go further, and examine the 
sedimentary deposits, the Laurentian, Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian, 
Ac., and follow them upwards. What do we find as regards the 
carbon they contain ? 

Broadly speaking— a continual increase of its proportion. We 
can trace the materials of the mica schists, the sandstones, &c, to the 
granitic materials below them, but the carbonates and carbon 
deposits seem to be supplied by some addition from above. As the 
world lias grown older, more and more of vegetable, animal, and 
mineral carbon has appeared in its deposits. 

I therefore venture to suppose that comets and fiery meteors, 
instead of being the weapons of Divine vengeance, wielded for the 
destruction of the world, have been beneficent contributors of the 
chief material of its animal and vegetable life, and that, as the world 
grows older and encounters more comets or their meteoric tracts, it 
will grow richer and richer in carbon and hydro-carbon, and thereby 
capable of supporting a more and more luxuriant vegetation, and, 
consequent upon this, a larger and larger population of sentient 


Comet Weather and Comet Vintages. 

HE intensely hot weather that has accompanied the present 
comet has naturally revived the popular theory which 
regards such weather as connected with comets by the link of 

The coincidences are certainly curious, especially as shown by the 
vintage results. The idea that anything so flimsy as a comet should 
have any action upon the temperature of the earth from a distance 
of 7 to 20 millions of miles, which are the ranges of our present visitor 
during the recent hot weather, is simply preposterous. Lexell's 
comet remained entangled during four months among the satellites of 
Jupiter, dragged hither and thither by their gravitation, without 
exciting any measurable influence on their movements. It came 
within 1,400,000 mi]$s of us, and, had it been composed of matter 

246 The Gentleman $ Magazine. 

similar to that of our earth, it would have lengthened our year by 
2 hours and 47 minutes, but it made no perceptible difference; henco* 
its density must have been but a very minute, almost infinitesimal, fiao- 
tion of that of the earth ; it must have been, bulk for bulk, far 
lighter than the air we breathe. 

We may therefore dismiss at once the idea of a comet being a? 
heat-carrier that could perceptibly influence the earth by its radiation* 

But we have comets and comets. More than five hundred have 
been observed and recorded; the great majority, of these are with- 
out tails. Why is this? Another fact is still more suggestive of 
inquiry. A 'given comet may return to the sun by the same orbit 
as before, and vary materially as regards its caudal development 
This was the case with Halley's comet On its last return, in 1835, it 
was barely visible to the naked eye, and its tail was but a very insig- 
nificant affair. I saw it through a good telescope, and remember 
very distinctly the disappointment of my boyish expectations on 
beholding only a straight tail extending to a distance of about half-a* 
dozen diameters of the head 

Why this change ? What is the tail of a comet ? The natural 
answer at first suggested is that it is a material appendage to 
the nucleus or head. This is the general notion. The out* 
streaming of the nucleus towards the sun, and the recurving back- 
wards of these streams, which are seen in the telescope, seem to 
confirm this idea. There appears to be an actual generation of tail 
by material cast out from die head and driven backward by some 
repulsive energy exerted from the sua 

But further examination of the facts refutes this conclusion. The 
rate of ejection is too great. The tail of the great comet of 1680 
was found by Newton to be no less than 120 millions of miles in 
length, "and to have occupied only two days in its emission from 
the comefs body." 1 It is difficult to conceive the ejection of material 
particles with such velocity. 

But this difficulty is but small compared with that presented by 
the whirling of the tail as the comet sweeps round the sun when 
nearest to it The tail of the great comet of 1843 completed asem* 
circular sweep in "a little more than two hours." 4 The length of 
this tail was above 100 million of miles, which gives a velocity, of 
more than 150 millions of miles per hour to the outside sweep, yriaA 
vastly exceeds anything mat gravitation or any other known physical 
force could effect under such conditions upon any known kind. of 

»Hcr»chel. •Ibbfetize 

Science Notes. 247 

But this is not alL The head of this comet and the root of the 
tail (if I may use the expression) were less than half a million of 
miles from the sun's centre, and thus they moved at the rate of only 
1 \ millions of miles per hour, or one-hundredth of the velocity 
of the end of the tail. All the other portions moved with varying 
intermediate velocities. Nobody can suppose that the comet's tail is 
a rigid body that could be thus slung round like a stick or sword- 
blade. The facts already stated indicate the excessive tenuity of 
the nucleus or body of the comet. What, then, must be the lightness 
of the tail if it be matter ejected from this thin gas bubble, and 
spread out a millionfold ? If any kind of actual matter, it must be 
inconceivably unsubstantial or discrete ; and the swinging round of 
such material with such varying velocities, and still cohering with 
unchanged form, is unthinkable. 

What, then, can it be ? Sir John Herschel says : " If there could 
be conceived such a thing as a negative shadow, a momentary im- 
pression made upon the luminiferous ether behind the comet, this 
would represent in some degree the conception such a phenomenon 
irresistibly calls up." (The italics are Herschel's.) I feel great diffi- 
culty in conceiving such a negative shadow in the ether, but have 
another idea that may to some extent meet the difficulty. 

In the grand days of the Royal Polytechnic Institution, when it was 
purely devoted to popular science, and therefore prosperous, the stage 
of die large theatre was occupied by scientific apparatus, the most 
remarkable of which was Armstrong's hydrti-electric machine, to 
witness the marvellous performances of which, visitors flocked from all 
the civilised countries of the world. These displays depended upon the 
friction of high-pressure steam upon the jets emitting it. Now, the 
sun is demonstrably an electric machine acting on this principle. 
The solar prominences are gigantic steam jets issuing from apertures 
into which a world like ours might be dropped, and rushing upwards 
to heights of 10, 20, 50, and even more than a hundred thousand 

This electrical excitation is so enormously powerful that it exerts 
an inductive influence upon our earth at a distance of 93 millions of 
miles, producing our Aurora Borealis, and sending solar currents 
through our telegraph wires when these eruptions are unusually 
vigorous, and even damaging them by the intensity of the currents, 
as on September z, 1859, when the observer at Kew recorded 
an exceptionally great solar outburst; at the same time the 
Aurora Borealis extended to the tropics ; the telegraphic signal- 
men at Washington and Philadelphia received severe shocks ; at 

248 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Boston a flame followed the pen of Bain's electric telegraph ; and 
at a telegraph station in Norway the apparatus was burned by thte 
discharges, and all the telegraphic arrangements of the rest of the 
world were seriously disturbed. 

Therefore there must be lines of electric force radiating from the 
sun ; and Faraday proved that, whenever such lines of electric or 
magnetic force are crossed by a moving body, that body is magnetic- 
ally or electrically excited in a degree proportionate to the velocity 
of its motion and the energy of the lines of force it crosses. 

Thus a body rushing round the sun in cometary proximity must 
be most intensely charged. A body in such condition will throw out 
luminous discharges preferably in a direction opposite to that from 
which its excitation is received, provided it can find particles or 
media in a condition favourable for their reception. 

Thus I think it very probable that the tail of a comet is such a 
discharge from the intensely excited and consequently disturbed 

Now we arrive at the point towards which I have been advancing. 
It is this : that, as our solar system is travelling bodily through space 
at the rate of about 460,000 miles per day, we encounter regions 
that vary as regards the meteoric matter they contain and the 
temperature they have acquired from the perennial radiations of the 
countless suns of the universe. I assume (on the grounds expounded 
in my essay on " The Fuel of the Sun ") that such regions afford 
variable supplies of solar fuel, and that wherever the supply exceeds 
the average, conditions more favourable for the extensions of the tails 
of comets are presented. If this is the case, a comet otherwise 
telescopic or barely visible, like Halley's in 1835, may become a 
flaming visitor, like Halley's was before, or resemble those that 
startled the world in 181 1, 1843, 1859, and in a less degree this year. 

Thus the flaming long-tailed comet, the hot weather, and the 
" comet vintages " may occur together, not as cause and effects, but 
as coincident effects of one common cause. 

Swallows and Mosquitoes. 

IN my last book on Norway I attributed the overwhelming abun- 
dance of mosquitoes within the Arctic Circle to the absence of 
swallows, whose numbers diminish as we proceed northward, while 
the insects upon which they most freely feed increase in corresponding 
ratio. This theory has been disputed, and therefore something like an 
" instantia cruat " is required to test it severely. 

^ J Digitized by VjOOQLC 

Science Notes. 249 

Such a crucial test is afforded by the severe weather of the begin- 
ning of June this year, which in some parts of Europe was cold 
enough to kill largejiumbers of the summer swallows. J. V. Sladek, 
writing to Nature from Prague, says that in the neighbourhood of 
that city " they have been found dead by hundreds." 

If I am right, and no further migration supplies their place, there 
will be a plague of mosquitoes thereabouts, wherever there are 
pools of water supplying the gnats with breeding-grounds. If any 
of my readers should be visiting this or other parts of the Conti- 
nent where the swallows have been stricken, their observations on the 
autumnal supply of mosquitoes will be interesting, and I shall be 
glad to learn the results. 

The Abnormal Weather of 1881. 

THE meteorology of 1881 is likely to become historical. Here, 
and over a considerable area of the temperate zone, we have 
had one of the coldest of known winters, followed by strange 
fluctuations in the spring and early summer, and this again by July 
heat of almost unparalleled intensity. 

All this was preceded by an unusual period of solar quiescence. 
According to the received sun-spot period, the solar outbreaks that 
have recently occurred commenced behind their time. Owing to a 
complication of circumstances that I need not narrate, the sun has 
radiated into the scientific world a considerable amount of moral 
as well as physical heat, and sun-spots like Cyprus, Afghanistan, 
and the Transvaal have been battle-fields of party warfare. True, 
there is one great difference between scientific and political partisan- 
ship : the political partisan parades his partisanship, and makes a 
virtue of his one-sided blindness; while the scientific partisan is always 
more or less ashamed of his position, and usually disclaims it. 

The warm question is whether the solar activity displayed by the 
outbreaking of sun-spots and solar prominences has any appreciable 
effect on terrestrial climate, and whether we should have special 
observatories, with salaries attached^ for the prosecution of a branch 
of science which has been contemptuously described as "sun- 
spottery. M It "goes without saying" that the warmth of the first 
question is derived from the second (vide italics), and therefore I 
leave the second alone. 

That terrestrial climate, with all its variations, is an effect of solar 
radiations need not be argued; that modifications of the cause should 
produce fluctuations in the effect is not an extravagant assumption ; 
»nd therefore the violent convulsions, the vigorous stirrings of the 

250 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

m solar furnace which produce the spots and prominences may reason- 
ably be expected to affect our climate as well as our magnetic needles. 

At first glance of the subject, it may seem very easy to determine 
this by comparing meteorological observations with sun-spot records; 
but such is not the case : for, even if we had observatories in every 
country of the earth, three-fourths of its surface — that of the ocean- 
would still be left As it is, we only know the weather of a very 
small fraction of the earth's surface, and thus cannot get at any 
averages for the whole globe. 

Our own island is situated in the midst of its most variable 
climatic region, just where the tropical currents may graze the surface 
to-day, and those from the Arctic Circle .to-morrow. It is even 
possible that an increase of general solar activity may increase the 
severity of our winter. 

I suspect that such was the case during the winter that we last 
endured At that time the sun was over the southern tropical zona — 
on the other side of the Equator. What would be the effect of a 
general excess of heat there ? The usual ascent of the warmer air 
would be augmented, and the southward flow of cold air from the 
Arctic regions increased. Now, such an increase on our side would 
give us more than our usual share of polar currents down here, while 
the upper regions of the air, in temperate latitudes, would be warmed 
by the upper tropical currents. 

This actually occurred last winter and the winter before. In the 
Engadine and other regions of the high Alps, the weather was phe- 
nomenally warm, while unusually cold at and about sea level At 
the new French Observatory on the Puy de Dome, having an eleva- 
tion of about 5,000 feet, a similar vagary of climate was observed. 

If I am right, the heat thus carried northwards by the upper atmo^ 
sphere currents has been doing its work upon the accumulations of 
Arctic ice, and our share of the solar beneficence is but temporarily 
delayed. At any rate, let us hope so, as we need a cycle of good 
harvests to compensate for the general impoverishment the nation 
has endured in consequence of the diminished home production of 
the primary necessaries of life during the last three or four years of 
protracted solar inactivity. 

The Lunar Atmosphere. 

HAS the moon any atmosphere? This question has beeu 
much discussed That it cannot have a considerable atmo- 
sphere is certain, seeing that in all cases of occultation of stars or 

Digitized by tiOOQlC 

Science Notes. 25 r 

planets by the moon the extinction of the star by the moon's edge 
occurs without any delay. 

An atmosphere would refract the rays coming from the star, and, 
by this bending round, render the star visible after the edge of the 
moon had covered it ; the visible star-image would linger for a while 
on approaching the moon's edge, just as the sun appears lingering 
above the horizon after he has actually set 

But what is this visible edge of the moon ? So mountainous is 
our satellite, that, when we look athwart its rotundity, we see only 
the summits of its mountains, our line of vision skipping across the 
intermediate valleys. Thus there may be some small amount of 
atmospheric matter lying in these valleys, but thinning up to imper- 
ceptible rarity before it reaches the mountain-tops. 

Some curious appearances observed on the lower levels of the 
moon have led skilful observers to claim for it a very thin atmospheric 
envelope, or at any rate to doubt the total absence of atmospheric 
matter. Thus, Mr. Webbe says that " there are residuary phenomena 
— such as, for instance, the extraordinary profusion of brilliant points — 
which, on rare occasions, diversify the Mare Crisium so difficult of 
interpretation, that we may judge it wisest to avoid too positive an 

This Mare Crisium is one of the lunar plains or lower levels, and 
it seems to show something like the formation and dissipation 
of a trace of hoar-frost at its evening and morning time. 

On the supposition that atmospheric matter is diffused throughout 
the universe, and that each orb obtains a share due to its own gravi- 
tating power, the lunar atmosphere should have density about equal to 
one-fiftieth of our own ; about equal in density to the so-called 
" vacuum " of an ordinary air-pump receiver when ordinarily exhausted. 
' Dr. Hiiggins has recently applied the spectroscope to test this 
question, and finds no indications of atmospheric absorption; but is 
the' spectroscope sufficiently delicate to detect the absorption due to 
atmospheric matter of such tenuity, thus lying only in the valleys? 
I think not 


Digitized by 


252 The Gentleman's Magazine, 


The Haymarket Stage Half a Century Ago. 

FOR practical purposes, stage records cease with the year 1830, at 
which period Genest closes his laborious and cumbrous, but fairly 
trustworthy, " History of the Drama and Stage." Unless a subscription 
list is raised, and some authority like the genial and accurate scholar 
Mr. E. L. Blanchard is commissioned to discharge a task with a 
view to which he has collected invaluable materials, there is likely to 
be an all but complete blank in theatrical annals beween 1830 and 
1850, when, in a languid way, interest in the stage commenced to 
reassert itself. The play-bills of the Haymarket, the Adelph', and 
one or two other theatres for the year 1 831 are in my possession, and 
enable me to state what was being done fifty years ago. Half a 
century ago, then, to-day, on the first of August — which in that year, 
as in this, fell on a Monday — the Haymarket gave the opera of 
" Clara, the Maid of Milan," and for the sixteenth time, Mrs. Gore's 
clever comedy " The School for Coquettes," with the musical enter- 
tainment of " The Romp." Curious to state, one actor still living 
appeared in both the earlier pieces. Mr. B. Webster is set down for 
the part of Ralph in the comedy, and that of Jocoso in the opera. 
Others, who have long gone to their account, include W. Farren— for 
whom, however, on account of illness, an apology was made, his part 
being read by Mr. Gattie — H. Wallack, Cooper, Vining, Mrs. Glover, 
Mrs. Fawcet, and Mrs. Humby. An epilogue by the late Lord Lytton, 
then only known as L. Bulwer, Esq., was spoken by Miss Taylor. 
The composition is not especially happy. It contains, however, 
some reference to the Reform Bill, then the burning question of the 
day. So far as I know, this has not been reprinted. A few stanzas 
may accordingly interest my readers. 

What have I done ! Renounced the power to vex, 

The will to flirt— that charter of our sex ? 

Curb'd to one hour the thousand aims of life — 

And grown— oh heavens ! domestic — yet a wife. 

•Tis not too late— stay— am I yet resign'd ? 

So young — not ugly — shall I change my mind ? 

Shall I reform-but gently, bit by bit- Digitized by QoOQle 

And grow a very moderate coquette ? 

Table Talk. 253 

A change too sweeping should I not repent, 

And, after all, what husband is content ? 

If once, to please the wretch, I stoop to mend, 

Say, can ye tell me where the thing will end ? 

May not the creature next contrive to see 

My weekly routs require a schedule B? 

May he not less exclusive seats away, 

And place the Opera under schedule A ? — 

Not yet content to curb my faults alone, 

Ask universal suffrage for his own, 

Extend the elective franchise of his frown, 

And bring my wardrobe to an annual gown ? &c. 

Other Features or the Stage of Fifty Years Ago. 

AT the Adelphi, meantime, the romantic drama of " The Sister 
of Charity " was given by a company including Miss Kelly 
and O. Smith. The operetta of "Old and Young" showed Miss 
ttaole in the four different characters known as the Mowbrays, and 
afforded her an opportunity of singing " Meet me by moonlight alone." 
Collins, known as the English Paganini, gave a performance upon 
the fiddle. An operetta called " The Old Regimentals " introduced 
Bartley, John Reeve, and Miss H. Cawse ; and the drama of "The 
Haunted Hulk " was played by John Reeve, O. Smith, F. Matthews, 
and Miss Pincott. Not very cheaply purchased, it may be seen, was 
the reputation of the Adelphi for supplying solid fare. Pasta and 
Rubini meanwhile were at the Opera playing in "La Sonnambula" of 
Bellini, which was said to be written expressly for Pasta, and was 
pronounced a " very mediocre affair." At Drury Lane, about this 
time, Captain Polhill refused to pay Macready the augmented salary 
of j£4o per week, which his predecessor in management, Alexander 
Lee, had undertaken to give. Thirty pounds a week was offered, but 
was refused by the tragedian. Madame Vestris, then just taking the 
lease of the Olympic, Wallack, and " Little Keeley " had been touring 
in the " provinces." Madame Malibran had just gone to Brussels. 
Paganini had been causing a tumult in Cheltenham by his greediness 
for money, as his enemies declared. Potier, the French comedian, 
was playing at the King's Theatre, as " Le Pere Sournois " and " Le 
. Bln&cier." Miss F. Kemble was about to publish her drama of 
" Francis the Great," and Mr. Planche* had quarrelled with Madame 
Veftris. The notion of forming the Garrick Club was just being 
mooted. Elleston had died within the month, and Joe Munden 
was lying dangerously ill at Burbage in Wiltshire, to linger on until 
next winter, when he expired. Fittball and Burbage were engaged 
on an opera for Drury Lane, and Mrs. Siddon's will had just been 

254 2fik Gentleman's Magazine. 

proved for ;£35,ooo. C. M. Young was 'playing in Dublin, and 
Kean, a week later, was in Birmingham. Minor establishments 
included the Diorama in Regent's Park ; the British diorama, with 
four pictures by Clarkson Stanfield ; the Fhysiorama and the Octo- 
rama, with a model of the Th&tre Francais exhibited at the Egyptian 

Theatrical Memoranda. 

AT the period I have mentioned, namely, the first ot August 
183 1, Mr. Neville, the manager of a Manchester theatre, was 
said to be in prison and on the treadmill through inability to 
pay a fine of fifty guineas incurred in allowing an Italian opera to 
be played at his theatre. At the City Theatre, meanwhile, an adap- 
tation of Gerald Griffin's novel, "The Collegians," had been brought 
out under the title of " Eily O'Connor ; or, the Foster Brother." Mrs. 
Cregan was said to be a good character, and Conn Cregan was played 
by James Vining. This adaptation is thirty years earlier than the 
" Colleen Bawn." 

The Showman's Vanity. 

A CURIOUS whim of some actors and managers, whch induces 
them to exhibit their portraits all over London, seems to indi- 
cate on the part of those who do it a want of humour, since otherwise 
they would see that a process of this kind moves derision rather 
than any other sentiment That a young and pretty actress, whose 
beauty is a portion of her stock-in-trade, should allow portraits of her- 
self to be placarded on walls or put in the windows of public-houses, 
is conceivable. Not easily, however, can I understand why a respect- 
able middle-aged gentleman, with no special grace of appearance 
to distinguish himself from average humanity, should thus seek an un- 
meaning notoriety, and should show himself everywhere, not in an * 
assumed character, but in the garb of every-day life. Two or three 
managers are at the present time guilty of this folly. Very hard to fix 
are the bounds of human vanity. Thus, when an enterprising gen- 
tleman has an object to exhibit, such as a performing whale or a 
four-headed nightingale, he covers vacant wall and hoarding with 
pictures, not of the object, but of himself. I believe that the convic- 
tion is after a time borne in upon him, that it is the showman. that . 
attracts rather than the show. 

Proposed French Tax on English Literature.. 

ONE aspect' of the tariff between England and France should 
not be passed over without comment It is proposed to 
increase from ten francs forty centimes, at Which it now fttands, to 

Table Talk. 255 

sixty francs per hundred kilos, the internal paper-duty upon books, 
music, newspapers, periodicals, and printed matter generally that 
passes the French Custom-house. The levying of the tax will 
amount to a virtual exclusion of English newspapers, magazines, 
and all cheaper forms of printed literature. How heavily it will 
weigh is shown in the fact that a penny newspaper, with the cost of 
postage, will have to be sold in France for fourpence. I am not one 
of those who give up their faith in free trade so soon as a slight 
interruption is threatened of the prosperity it has brought. If, how- 
ever, the country, going back from its old faith, is about to try the 
system of meeting taxation with taxation, I would meet it on this 
ground Reluctant as I am to see a tax on literature, I think a tax 
which should exclude a large portion of modern French fiction would 
not be without its redeeming features. So soon, moreover, as 
French writers of books— who are, for the most part, journalists 
also — find that their sale in England is arrested, and their profits 
are, as they would be, seriously diminished, they will begin to dpubt 
the wisdom of the steps they now advocate. As they are when 
dissatisfied the most noisy of malcontents, and as they have naturally 
exceptional chances of making themselves heard, their outcries might 
lead to a revision of the entire scheme of added duties. 

Evils of Opium Consumption in Burmah. 

IT is impossible for a nation which aims at being just to disregard 
the memorandum of Mr. C. U. Aitchison, the Chief Com- 
missioner of British Burmah, recently issued in the form of a 
Parliamentary paper. In this it is stated that the use of opium by 
the Burmese " saps the physical and mental energies, destroys the 
nerves, emaciates the body, predisposes to disease, induces indolent 
and filthy modes of life, destroys self-respect, is one of the most 
fertile sources of misery, destitution, and crime, fills the gaols with 
men of relaxed frame, predisposed to dysentery and cholera, prevents 
the due extension of cultivation and the development of the land 
revenue, checks the natural growth of the population, and enfeebles 
the constitution of succeeding generations." This state of affairs — 
which, from personal observation of the influence of opium, I believe 
tq be fairiy described— is attributable to English influence. When 
we have to render an account of our stewardship, the introduction of 
opium into Burmah will figure as a black item. A deputation of the 
principal men of Akyab waited on the Chief Commissioner, pointing 
out these evils, and praying for an entire prohibition of the trade in 

256 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

opium. Serious as must be the loss of revenue from such a cOurte, 
we shall have ultimately to adopt it. From the evidence of English 
officials it is obvious that half-measures will not meet this evil, and 
that an entire prohibition of the sale of opium is the only course that 
will save portions of Burmah from ruin. 

Sorrows of an Infant Book-Collector. 

1AM disposed to supply the reader with an instance of the sorrows 
that may befall a juvenile collector. At a very early age I was 
bitten with the mania— -pace Mr. Ruskin— of book-collecting, and my 
boyish funds were hoarded up for the purchase of Carews, Withers, 
and Sucklings, and the poets generally to whom Leigh Hunt 
introduced me in his delicious " Imagination and Fancy." At that 
period I had the good fortune, or what at first seemed such, to come 
across a volume of portentous thickness, containing three works 
which in these editions may claim to be among the rarest in the 
English language. These were the " Canterbury Tales M of Chaucer, 
the " Confessio Amantis " of Gower, and the " Troy Book," or, as 
it is often called, the " Fall of Princes " — I now, at a distance of 
close on forty years, forget which — of Lydgate. The printers of the 
three works were respectively Caxton, Wynk>n de Worde, and 
Pynson. Five pounds was the sum demanded for the volume by the 
bookseller, who, without knowing its value, held it to be rare, and 
asked what he thought a stiff price for it. Home I rushed to obtain 
the money. Alas ! my efforts were vain. To give five pounds for 
a book was regarded by all to whom I could appeal as simple mad- 
ness. My juvenile erudition — slight enough, but adequate to tell me 
the occasion was one not likely to recur — was laughed at and con- 
temned. In the manufacturing districts, indeed, in which I dwelt, 
a purchase such as I proposed seemed at that time an unheard-of 
extravagance. Maternal aid, which had enabled me to accomplish 
many a less important acquisition, could not meet the present 
emergency, and reluctantly and sorrowfully I was compelled to let 
the occasion pass. So far as I remember now of this book, it was not 
quite perfect : works of this class rarely are. Each work had, however, 
the title. The value of the book then to be purchased for five 
pounds would now be at least five hundred. To this day I feel a 
pang as I think of the chance that came in my way to mock me. 
No great interest, except for the collector, has this juvenile (< tragedy," 
but the story is absolutely true. 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



September i88r. 


Chapter XXVL 


ONE effect produced upon Clement by late events Was an unac* 
countable chill in his feelings towards Montana. It was not 
anything so definite as actual distrust He had not thought the 
matter out in any way, or asked himself anything as to the nature 
of the change in his feelings. But the change was there, present 
always, and filling him with a certain pain. He was unwilling to see 
Montana. He shrank from speaking to him. He would, if possible, 
have avoided thinking of him. Perhaps this may have come merely 
from the unlucky accident by which he had been prevented from 
being with Mr. Varlowe to the last, and of which Montana was the 
innocent cause. But, whatever its source, the feeling in Clement's 
mind was there. He no longer thought with eagerness of Montana's 
great scheme. He shrank from the idea of taking part in it, or of 
allying his fortunes in any way with Montana's leadership. Some- 
times he felt that this was ungrateful and unworthy on his part, and 
he tried to put away the thought or to stifle it, but it would come 
back again. 

In the old days, when men believed in ghosts, it sometimes hap- 
pened that one was dimly, darkly conscious of the presence of some 
spectral visitant in the room with him. He saw nothing, he heard 
nothing out of the common, but the air was chill with the mysterious 
unseen presence ; and as darkness looks with its hundred eyes, so this 

vol, ccli. no. 1809. s 

258 The Gentleman's Magazine* 

invisible companionship made its presence palpable by its myriad 
touches. Somewhat in the same way a phantom had arisen between 
Clement Hope and Montana. Unseen, its presence was felt Voice- 
less, it bade Clement stand apart from Montana. 

Clement was very busy for some few days. He threw an unresting 
energy now into all he had to do ; it relieved him from grief, and indeed 
energy belonged to his nature, long as it had been suppressed. There 
were many matters of business to arrange in consequence of Mr. 
Varlowe's death. There were two wills made by Mr. Varlowe, one 
of several years' standing, with the contents of which Clement was 
familiar. It left everything to him, in the event of the missing son 
not reappearing ; if the son should reappear, it divided the property 
equally between Clement and him. The second will, made shortly 
before Varlowe's death, left the whole to Clement uncondition- 
ally. The property, in houses and in money, was very consider- 
able. Clement would be a comparatively rich man should the son 
not reappear ; even should the son come back and the division take 
place, he would still have more money than he wanted or cared for. 
He was resolved that he would not lead an idle life any more. The 
one thing that had tried a*id troubled him during the life of his bene- 
factor was the way in which he had to live — striving for nothing, 
accomplishing nothing. Until lately he had hoped to devote himself 
to Montana's scheme and Montana's service ; now he no longer felt 
any inclination that way. But Montana had shown him a path to tread. 
Why should he not found a new colony for himself, on smaller propor- 
tions, indeed, and a much more modest principle than Montana's vast 
enterprise, but a new colony, where striving, high-hearted men and 
women, now borne down by the cruel conditions of life in great 
cities, should breathe free fresh air/and earn a happy living by energy 
and combination? The idea grew more and more fascinating as 
Clement turned it over day and night That way, he felt, his inclina- 
tions, his capacity, and his ambition lay. There was nothing else 
left in our modern civilisation for one who had a real longing to do 
great work which should satisfy his own energy and serve his fellows. 
The scheme had an alluring savour of romance and of heroism 
about it It was nobler than mere exploring. It was far more poetic 
than the writing of poor verses. It was more generous in its scope than 
any effort of beneficence here at home could be ; its results, if it 
succeeded, would be more abiding than any work of art Clement was 
ever likely to give to the world. It would enable him to repay to 
many men and women all the unspeakable kindness his benefactor 
had lavished so long upon him. " The money isn't mi] 

Digitized by* 

ame in any 

The Comet of a Season. 259 

sense," Clement kept saying to himself; " if I took it for myself, it 
would be only accepting alms in another form. I'll earn it by making 
it of use to others ; and 111 make the giver's name live for ever in 
the grateful memory of men and women." For he was resolved that 
the little Eden he proposed to found should perpetuate Mr. Varlowe's 
name. In the United States, as Clement knew, there were thriving 
settlements called after all manner of private individuals utterly 
unknown to the world before. Why should not his new colony 
be called "Varlowe"? 

"They shall remember me here and say I have done well," he 
thought again and again, with pride and melancholy pleasure. 

Who were to remember him ? The Marions ? Well, he should like 
them to remember him with kindness ; but it was not the thought of 
their kind remembrance that made his eyes light and his voice trem- 
ble. Melissa? Alas, no ! He only felt ashamed of himself now when 
he recalled his foolish, unreal fancy for poor Melissa. He knew only 
too well that that was not love at all. He knew it now by positive 
experience. Now, indeed, he felt what genuine love was; and 
mingling with every thought, selfish or unselfish, which rose up in his 
mind as he planned his new Utopia, was the belief that Geraldine 
would approve of what he was doing. He longed for the mere pride 
and delight of telling her what he meant to do, even while it was 
only yet a thought or a dream. At least, she would believe it a 
generous thought ; her soft kindly eyes would smile approval of his 
dream, and encourage him to make it a reality. Was there a faint 
distant hope that she might one day come to think well of him — so 
well that she might even care for him ? Even in his own heart he 
hardly put it so boldly as to think of her loving him. 

At least, he would go and see her. No one else should know 
of his plan and his dreams until they had been made known to her. 
Full of these thoughts, lifted by them oujt of himself, he went to see 
Geraldine. He had not heard anything of what had been happening 
in Captain Marion's house since he last was there ; he knew nothing 
of the inquiries that were going on in the north, or of poor Melissa's 

Meanwhile, Melissa's escapade was not taken in London exactly as 
people took it in the town from which she came. In London, 
hardly anybody knew anything about it, and of the small minority 
who knew anything, a still smaller minority took the slightest interest 
in the matter. But in Melissa's own town it was, as she had pre- 
dicted, a public talk and scandal. It proved utterly impossible 
to keep it from the knowledge of everybody. Not more than an 

260 The Gtntlemarts Magazine. 

hour or two had she been missing when Marion's reassuring tele 
gram came to Mr. Aquitaine, and yet, in that time, inquiry enough 
had been made and alarm enough manifested to set the town in a 
sort of commotion. Soon there came the testimony of the man in 
the art gallery and the testimony of the porter at the station, and 
then it turned out that a great number of persons had seen Melissa 
and recognised her, and wondered where she was going, although, 
oddly enough, they had never said anything about it till the supposed 
scandal of the story came out. At last, there were so many rivals for 
the honour of having seen, and noticed, and suspected, and guessed 
all about her and her flight, that it would almost seem as if every 
man, woman, and child in the whole place had followed, watched, 
and studiously recorded every movement of the daughter of the great 
house of Aquitaine on that day, and was well aware of what she was 
doing, where she was going, and why she was leaving her home. 

Mrs. Aquitaine took the matter calmly and sweetly. It did not 
strike her as anything very remarkable. It was silly of the girl to 
have gone making an afternoon call on a strange gentleman, she 
thought, and especially foolish to go flurrying up to London on a 
hot day in that kind of way ; but, beyond that, Mrs. Aquitaine was 
not impressed. She would have received Melissa composedly, and 
been as sweet and kind and languidly contented as ever. Mr. Aquitaine 
took the affair differently. Out of his very affection for the girl and 
his tenderness to her, and his sudden disappointment and anger, 
there grew for the time a strange harshness in him. 

He wrote to Captain Marion a quiet, cold letter, iti which he 
absolutely declined to go for his daughter, or to see her, or to have 
anything to do with her for the present "She has made herself 
the heroine of a scandal/' he wrote, " and until that scandal is for- 
gotten, if it ever is, I don't want to see her here. You are so kind, 
that I can ask you to take charge of her for the present ; and in Lon- 
don nobody knows anything or cares any thing about the name of 
Aquitaine. I will take her abroad after a while, when I have thought 
over what is best to do, but for the present I shall not see her." 

This was a relief to Melissa. She had dreaded a scene — her 
father coming up and upbraiding her, and trying to take her home 
again. She was now quietly miserable. She avoided as much as 
possible seeing anyone. She did not often come down to dinner 
with the rest of the family. When she did she was silent, or spoke 
aggressively by fits and starts. 

Geraldine was very attentive to her, and tried as much as possi- 
ble not to leave her alone. Captain Marion, of course, was always 

* ' zed byXjODgTe' 

The Comet of a Season. 261 

kind, but there was something in his manner that showed Melissa 
how completely he had changed his opinion with regard to her. 
Indeed, Marion was doing his best to avoid feeling a certain dislike 
for the poor girl, and he could not accomplish his wish. 

" I am greatly afraid about Melissa," Geraldine said to him. 

" Why afraid, Geraldine ? What can happen to her now ? " 

" I don't know ; but there is something alarming to me in her 
ways, in her silence, and her looks. I am afraid she will try to get 
away from us, or to do something." 

These vague words "to do something," generally mean what 
the speaker dreads to say more plainly, but has distinctly in mind 
If Geraldine could have allowed her thoughts a full expression, she 
would have said that she was afraid Melissa might at some moment 
be tempted to kill herself. 

Marion was not alarmed. " Oh, it is nothing," he said; "she is a 
silly, petulant girl. She will soon come right I wonder at Aquitaine. 
It is ridiculous of him to go on in that obstinate way. He had much 
better come up and take Melissa home and be kind to her. But he 
will soon give in, you'll find. He is a very kindly hearted fellow, 
only obstinate—all those northern men are obstinate. He will soon 
come up, and be very glad to have the whole thing forgotten. All will 
come right Don't be alarmed, Geraldine. Pray don't, like a dear 
girl, conjure up any unnecessary phantoms to worry and distress us. 
We have had enough of that sort of thing lately." 

These were dreary days for Geraldine. How many were they ? 
Not many, surely — three or four at the most of this blank and melan- 
choly seclusion; but they seemed very long. Montana did not 
come near them all the time ; that was a relief. He would not come, 
Geraldine supposed, while Melissa was there. Marion went and saw 
him sometimes ; but Geraldine for these few days was relieved from 
his presence, and that was something of a set-off against the discom- 
fort of the life she was leading. She watched over Melissa with an 
anxious care, as if the girl were her sister ; and she received little 
but petulance in return. 

So much gloom had come over the household, that even Sydney 
Marion, usually very patient, began to complain openly of it, and 
wondered why nobody could do anything to brighten their life for 

Katherine spoke bitterly of Melissa. She had an especial spite 
against her just now, because her being immured in the house 
kept Montana from visiting them. Trescoe was still in the north. 
He had gone there when Captain Marion return^a^Ka 

262 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

had been delighting herself with the hope that Montana would come 
very often, and that she could admire him without the check of 
Frank's angry looks. Melissa had not only committed the unpar- 
donable impropriety of falling in love with Montana, and telling him 
so, and going to his house, but she was guilty of the additional 
offence of keeping Montana away from the place where Mrs. 
Trescoe was anxiously looking out for him. 

Marion was determined that the moment Trescoe came up from 
the north, he and Katherine should go off to the Continent at once, 
and he sincerely hoped that they would not come back until 
Montana had crossed the Atlantic. " Then," he thought, " things will 
come right again." To-morrow, or at farthest the day after, everything 
would come right With Captain Marion's buoyancy of tempera- 
ment, things were always coming right again to-morrow, or the day 
after at the farthest But he looked worn and sad. Geraldine had 
seen him thus of late, and had been greatly troubled. 

She said as much : 

" I am so sorry for you, Captain Marion. You try to make every 
one happy, and you ought to be so happy yourself; and yet I know 
you are greatly distressed by all this. It is very hard on you." 

" Well, for the matter of that, it is a good deal harder upon you, 
Geraldine ; for you are young, and I brought you over here for a 
holiday, and it doesn't seem likely to be much of a holiday after all. 
If your mdther only knew, she would have a good right to scold me ; 
only I don't believe she ever scolded anyone in her life." 

" 1 must return to her very soon," Geraldine said ; " I am afraid 
she must miss me." 

" There, I knew ! " Marion exclaimed. " I knew you would want 
to get back at once. I expected that ; I only wanted that ! You 
are the only person who keeps us alive here — I haven't another 
rational creature to speak a word to ; and now you are talking about 
going back to America ! " 

" I don't like to desert you, indeed, Captain Marion ; but I am 
always thinking of my mother ; and I think I ought to go home, for 
many reasons." 

" Yes, yes, I know some of them ; and I know how dreadfully 
stupid things are here for a young woman " 

" No, no, it isn't that," Geraldine pleaded warmly. 

" No, I don't believe it is ; but of course it is natural you should 
want to get back to your home — although it isn't your home, after 
all. America isn't your home. Why can't you make your home 

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The Comet of a Season. 263 

Then Marion suddenly stopped, remembering what Katherine 
had said, and what, according to her account, many others were saying. 
He was afraid Geraldine might misunderstand him, and become 

" I don't see why Mrs. Rowan might not come over and live in 
England," he said. "She has friends enough here, I am sure." 

"Her idea was," Geraldine explained, "that there is a better 
opening for young women in America than here. You see, Captain 
Marion, I can't always lead this easy, pleasant kind of life " 

" Pleasant ! " Marion interjected. "Mighty pleasant some of us 
have made it for you ! " 

" I shall have to do something/' she went on, without noticing his 
interruption. " My mother has only a small income y and it is only 
for — for herself." Geraldine could not bear to say " for her own 
life." " I shall have to do something. I can do a good many things 
in a sort of way; and I could get on better out in America than here 
where there are ever so many women who can do all I can, and a 
great deal better. So we thought of fixing ourselves in the States." 

" But you'll never have to do anything. You are certain to get 
married, Geraldine." 

Geraldine coloured slightly and shook her head. 

" Well, at all events your mother doesn't expect you just yet She 
was quite willing to leave you in our charge for twelve months at 
least, and there's a long time of that to run. You must not talk of 
leaving just yet I could not do without you now." 

" I should not like to leave you," Geraldine said simply, — " at 
least, until you can do without me." 

" My dear girl," Marion asked impulsively, " I wonder when that 
would be ? I want you very much ; you are the only reasonable 
being I have now to talk to. I am not so very happy in my girls as I 
expected to be. Perhaps I oughtn't to speak of this even to you, 
Geraldine, but I have got into the way of telling you everything. 
You see, we don't get on together so well, my girls and I ; we don't 
hit it off as I hoped we might do. Katherine has changed greatly — one 
can't help seeing that — and Sydney is so undemonstrative and cold. 
I dare say she is affectionate enough, but she doesn't show it ; and 
something is troubling her now, I think, and she doesn't tell me, 
and there is no confidence between us. So I wish you to stay as 
long as you can, Geraldine. I really can't spare you at present. 
Odd that I should talk in this way, but really I should miss you 
much more than one of my own daughters." 

" I wish I were your daughter," said Geraldine^^ 

264 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

"So do I. At least — M Then he hesitated for a moment "At 
least, I know I am just as fond of you as if you were." 

"And I am very fond of you," said Geraldine frankly, "and I 
shall be sorry to leave you whenever it is to be. You have always 
been so kind and good to me, and I feel as if I had known you since 
I was a child. I suppose your being my fathers friend makes me 
feel so, but I don't feel the same to anyone else." 

A strange sensation went through Marion's heart as he looked 
into the girl's face and saw her so beautiful, so affectionate, and so 
outspoken. " If she really cares for no one — for no young man," he 
thought, "why should she ever go away? Could she do any better 
than stay here ? " 

At the same moment a thought like that was passing through 
Geraldine's own mind " He has been better than a brother to me. 
I am not in love with anybody. I wish I were. Nobody that I care 
for is likely to be in love with me. If it would make him happy that 
I should stay with him always, why should I not do so ? It would 
delight my mother, I know. The world begins to be very blank and 
dreary. I don't care to look far forward. What could I do better 
than this, if it would please him ? What could I do better than 
devote my life to him ?" 

Surely some light of the thought that was in both their minds 
must have passed from the eyes of one to the eyes of the other. 

" Do you know what people have been saying of us, Geraldine?" 
he asked, and he took her hand in his. 

She answered No, but she could not keep from blushing. 

" They say I am very fond of you, my dear, and that I want to 
marry you. I don't wonder at their saying it, Geraldine ; although 
it made me angry on your account. Why should a girl like you 
marry a man like me ? You would look for twenty times my merits 
and half my years ; wouldn't you? " 

He had taken both her hands in his now, and he looked appeal- 
ingly into her eyes. There was a moment of silence. He waited 
patiently. He knew she understood him. She could hardly speak. 
The tumult in her " fighting soul " was too much for her as yet ; 
and still, she had been expecting this, somehow, for many minutes 
before Marion's words were spoken. Spoken as they were, and by 
him, the words were a proposal of marriage. 

11 You don't answer," Marion said j " you are not angry with 
me, Geraldine?" 

" Oh, no— how could I be angry ? Yes, if you would really like 
it— if it would please you— to have me for your wife, I will marry 
TO, Captain Marion, with — with pleasure," 

The Comet of a Season. 265 

A strange, keen pang went through Marion's heart — a mingled 
joy and pain. Geraldine, then, was willing to marry him, at his age ; 
that beautiful, proud girl ! But she did not love him. She would 
marry him to please him, and also, he was sure, to be free for ever 
from the importunity of one whom she feared. She did not pretend 
to love him ; she had made her meaning clear enough in the fewest 
words — if he liked her enough to make her his wife, he might have 
her. Well, it ought to be happiness to him to have her on any 
terms. She would make his life happy. His daughters could not 
make him happy any more. His hopes that way had all gone. 

"You are sure that you are quite willing, Geraldine? I don't 
ask you if you love me ; I suppose I have passed the age for being 
loved " 

" I am very fond of you," Geraldine truly said. 

"And you are really willing?" 

u I am really willing. I am very grateful." 

He pressed her hand to his lips. Somehow, he did not venture 
to kiss her, although she had promised to be his wife. But Geraldine 
drew towards him and, her face crimsoning all over, she kissed him. 
He grew as red as a boy might do. 

" My sweet, darling girl ! " was all he could say for a moment. Then 
he told her that he would leave her to herself to think this all over; 
and he was on the brink of saying that if she found she did not quite 
like it he would not hold her to her word. But he stopped himself, 
remembering that this might seem almost an insult to the girl 

" What will your mother say ? " he asked. 

" She will be glad," Geraldine answered simply. 

This was a relief and a joy to Marion. He kept his word, and left 
Geraldine for the moment When their conversation was beginning, 
Marion would have held any man or woman mad who suggested the 
possibility of its ending as it did— of Geraldine Rowan consenting to 
be his wife, or, indeed, of his allowing himself to ask her. 

Chapter XXVII. 


Geraldine sat for a while listless and thoughtful. The excitement 
of her sudden impulse had gone from her and left her in a condition 
of mental reaction, almost of collapse. She was not sorry for what 
she had done. She still felt that it was the right thing to do. In that, 
as in many other events of her life, she had acted entirely on impulse, 

266 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

and she had no misgivings as yet about this impulse. It would 
please Captain Marion, she thought, and make him happy ; and what 
better use could she turn her life to than to make him happy? She 
saw that he was not happy with his daughters and that he was not 
likely to be, and at any rate Sydney would probably soon marry and 
leave him. He was far too young to be left to a lonely life — too 
young in spirit and heart, at least ; too young even in years. It 
would please her mother, Geraldine thought Mrs. Rowan looked 
on Captain Marion as her dearest friend. It was nothing of a sacri- 
fice, for Marion was not really an old man, and Geraldine told herself 
that she did not feel as young as her years, and life might possibly be 
a hard struggle enough for her mother and for herself if she did not 
marry. Then there was the certainty of escaping any further perse- 
cution from Montana. The moment it was known that she was 
engaged to Captain Marion, her soul and spirit would be free from 
the depressing influence that had seemed of late to be weighing her 
fatally down. All things considered, she again told herself she had 
done right, and that she could not but be glad But how is it with a 
young woman who has just promised to marry a man, and has to 
begin to reassure herself that moment, telling her soul that she has 
done right, that she is certain to be happy, that she has no excuse 
for repentance or regret? 

Geraldine started from her dreamy, depressed mood as a door 
opened and a servant came in with a card. Why did she turn so red 
when she looked at the name ? Why was she so embarrassed ? Why 
did she get up and go to the window and look away from the servant 
while hastily saying that the owner of the card was to be admitted to 
see her ? The sudden sensation that passed through Geraldine's heart 
at the moment brought the first doubt with it She had never thought 
of this before ; she did not dare to allow her mind to dwell upon it 
now. But it is certain that a strange sharp pang of regret, and of 
something like shame, shot through her heart as she took the card 
in her hand and read the name of " Clement Hope." 

Then there came a sudden reaction — a rush of feeling the 
other way. "I can be so kind and friendly with him now," she said 
to herself; " I may be as friendly as ever I please, and I can do ^ 
great many things to help him and to make him happy, and Captain 
Marion will assist me." She became confident and courageous again 
at the thought " A married woman can do so much that a girl must not 
attempt to do. I shall make myself ever so useful to him as well as 
to others. Yes, I have done right I know now I have done right I 
wonder, what will he think? I wonder, will he be glad— will he care 

The Comet of a Season. 267 

at all ? Perhaps I might do something for him with Melissa. But, 
oh, that's impossible ! Melissa is not fit for him any more." 

Clement Hope entered the room. Geraldine had not seen him 
since that sad grey morning when she ran away back into the dismal 
house where Mr. Varlowe lay dead rather than meet him face to face 
and look on him while he heard the news that the kind old man had 
died in his absence. 

Clement was more embarrassed than she, which was but natural. 
He was cruelly conscious of being in love with her, and he was 
ashamed to think that she must have known of his imaginary passion 
for Melissa ; that perhaps she believed in it still. He began the con- 
versation by talking of the fine weather. Geraldine, however, cut 
this short very promptly. She received him with a cordiality the 
most frank and warm. She looked at him with sympathetic eyes. 
He had grown paler and thinner, she thought, and more like a 
picture by Andrea del Sarto than ever. They talked for a while ot 
the Marions, and Mr. Trescoe, and Mr. Aquitaine. Geraldine was at 
first in doubt whether it was well to speak of Melissa, but it occurred 
to her that if she said nothing about the girl it might lead Clement 
to suppose that she knew of his hopeless passion; and so she thought 
the best thing was to speak of Miss Aquitaine as of anyone else. 
Clement coloured a little when she first mentioned Melissa, but not 
for the reason that Geraldine might have supposed. 

So for, both he and Geraldine had seemed instinctively to avoid 
the mention of Montana's name. Geraldine had distinct reasons for 
wishing to keep that name as much as possible out of her thoughts, 
and Clement had his reasons, undefined but strong. Still, they 
could not talk over things in general very long without sooner or 
later being forced to say something of Montana. Each, after a while, 
became conscious that both were unwilling to come to the subject, 
and that it would have to be come to ; and the result was that before 
long they stumbled on it awkwardly. 

" Have you seen Mr. Montana of late?" Geraldine asked. 

No, Clement said, he had not seen him. " I suppose I ought 
to go and see him, but I don't know. I don't quite know yet 
Jwhat I mean to do with myself I must turn to an active life of 
some kind. You see, Miss Rowan, my father, as I like to call 
him, brought me up in a way very pleasant to me, but not likely to 
make a man well fitted for an active career. He was very fond of 
me ; he was only too good and kind to me ; and now he is gone, I 
don't feel as if I were good for much. But I mean to try. I mean to 
turn to and do something. I shan't hang about the wo; 

268 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

to do, thinking I was going to be a poet, or a painter, or an author 
of some kind, and making no approach to anything. I don't mean 
to think any more of poetry, or painting, or authorship. I mean to 
go in for a career of some energy, at all events." 

"I thought," she said, "you had made up your mind to throw 
in your lot with Mr. Montana, and to be one of his helpers in the 
new colony. That would be a great scheme, wouldn't fc? — I mean, 
if it could be carried out." 

" Yes, if it could be carried out," said Clement, speaking each 
word slowly and with difficulty — " if it could be carried out ; but I 
have been growing rather sceptical lately."" 

" Only growing sceptical lately ?" Geraldine asked. 

" Yes, only growing sceptical. I was a great believer in it. You 
were not, I suppose ? " he asked, looking suddenly at her. 

" No," Geraldine answered, " I never believed in it, and I never 
believed in him. Don't think me too womanish in my instincts, and 
don't think that I am only jumping to conclusions, as men say women 
always do, but I never had much faith in Mr. Montana. I know you 
had once ; have you now ?" 

" I wish you hadn't asked me that," Clement said. " I don't 
like to ask myself. There is no reason in the world why I shouldn't 
have just as much faith in him now as I ever had, but then * 

" But then — " Geraldine said ; " quite so ; but then — There it is. 
I am glad to hear the ' but then,' Mr. Hope — it is the best piece of 
news I have heard for some time, and indeed I have not heard much 
that was pleasant lately. I am sincerely glad that you have ceased 
to put a perfect faith in Mr. Montana." 

" I don't know how it is, or why; I haven't any reason. No- 
thing has happened. He ought to be the same to me. But 
somehow he is not, and there's an end of it. Something seems to 
stand between him and me. I dread going to see him. I dread 
his coming to see me." 

" Is that," she asked, " perhaps, because it was owing to him 
that you were sent out of the house at a wrong time that morning — 
that dismal, melancholy morning? " 

" I don't know," Clement said. " I don't think it is because ot 
that That may have been the beginning of it. But that surely 
was no fault of his. It can't be that But ever since that morning 
I cannot bring myself to the same feeling for Montana. You will 
think me very ridiculous, Miss Rowan, but at the present moment 
my one strong desire is never to see him again." 

" Then, why should you see him again ? " said Geraldine, u Why 

The Comet of a Season. 269 

not avoid seeing him? Take my word for it, Mr. Hope, you are 
better without seeing him. I wish I were never to see him again* 
I would give a great deal to be able to get away from London and 
never see him again. 1 ' 

" Shall I tell him what I saw and heard that morning?" she asked 
of hersel£ "Would it be right? Would it not be right? I cannot 
be mistaken. I did hear Montana call that poor old man 'father*; 
I did hear the old man welcome him as his son." Then again, she 
thought it better the whole thing should rest, and be as a dream for 
her. To what end recalling a miserable, torturing question? It could 
but make Clement unhappy. If he needed to be warned against 
Montana, there might be good reason ; now it would be only to 
distract and distress him for nothing. 

" But I haven't come to pay you a mere formal call," Clement 
suddenly said. " I want to tell you what I am going to do." Then 
he went to work and explained his plans. Geraldine listened with 
an interest which kindled as he went along. Soon she became 
thoroughly absorbed in his projects, and delighted with the spirit in 
which they were conceived. This was exactly what she would have 
him to da With all her dislike and mistrust of Montana, there had 
always been a certain fascination about his scheme, even for her. It 
seemed so noble in its purpose, and at the same time so practical 
in its beneficence ; and now it was especially charming to her to find 
an idea of the same kind taken up by Clement in a sort of rivalry. 
She not only wished him success; she felt sure that he must succeed. 
She saw him in a new light; All the half-sensuous languor of his cha- 
racter seemed to have gone, and he had become a strong, brave, enter- 
prising young man, with the loftiest purposes and the most resolute 
determination. She wondered how she could ever have so misread 
his character as not to see from the first the courage, earnestness, and 
purpose that were in him. Then she began to ask herself whether, 
after all, she ever did misread him, and whether, even from the first, 
she had not had the same impression, that he was made for some- 
thing much better than to play spaniel to the whims and pretty 
humours of a girl like Melissa Aquitaine. 

" This is the reason," she kept saying to herself, " why I always 
thought him too good for her. I knew there was much more in him 
than he showed on the surface. I knew that he was made for some- 
thing better than to waste his time over amateur efforts at poetry 
and art." 

She began to feel proud of him now, and proud of her own 
friendship for him, and of the evident sincerity of his friendship for 

270 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

her. Clement, for his part, was delighted beyond measure at the 
interest she showed in his plans and the sympathy she gave to his 
ambition. He felt happy beyond expression. Every word she 
spoke was so kind, so sympathetic, so tender in its interest, that the 
poor youth felt his head quite turned with wonder and delight A 
new world was opening upon him out of the ruins of his old world. 
The light that fell upon his path seemed all roseate and divine. 

"Be sure," Geraldine said, "you don't do anything in this without 
coming to me and telling me of it first. We must talk over every, 
thing together. I am sure I can help you — I mean," she added 
hastily, " we can help you ; " for what she was thinking of was that 
Marion would, for Clement's sake and for her sake, withdraw his 
interest from Montana's scheme, and give it all to Clement 

Need it be said that Clement readily promised to consult her in 

Geraldine was growing buoyantly happy for the moment as they 
sat and talked It delighted her to think that now she could openly 
assist Clement's plans and be his avowed friend. Now that her own 
destiny was settled, no misunderstanding could come of any friend- 
ship, however frank, that she might express for the young man. She 
would be able to withdraw the sympathies of Marion altogether from 
Montana. Clement Hope, Marion, and herself all rescued at once 
from Montana's influence, — this indeed, she thought, would be a 
bright change. 

Wild and wilder hopes were meanwhile surging up in Clement's 
mind. Her emphatic kindliness, her almost tender expressions of 
sympathy, were utterly misunderstood by him. Already in fancy he 
saw Geraldine Rowan the partner of all his purposes and his schemes. 
He saw a bright future with him and her together, and all the rest of 
the world standing apart. He saw a shining path, along which they 
two were to walk arm in arm and heart in heart But that he 
thought it would be premature, and in his peculiar position unseemly, 
he felt inclined then and there to make open love to the girl and to 
claim her love in return. But he dared not venture on this just yet 
" It will come," he told himself in rapture ; " it is sure to come. It has 
almost come already." He was very happy. When he was going 
away, she pressed his hand with a warm and almost affectionate 
pressure. That meant on her part, " I may be openly your friend 
now, for I never can be anything else." To him it seemed to say, 
" Trust me ; I shall be with you always." So he went away in a 
tumult of hope and delight, and she stole to her bedroom and shut 
herself in there and sat for a while in thought and found that in 

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r The Comet of a Season. 271 

Spite of herself tears had come into her eyes. They were not tears 
of mere unhappiness. She did not repent of what she had done, 
now that she had seen Clement On the contrary, his visit strength- 
ened her in the conviction that she had done right What though 
he was a generous and noble young man, with a high purpose and 
force of character — a young man that any girl might love and be 
proud of loving ? His heart was gone ; it was given away — thrown 
away on a girl who cared nothing for him, and who was not worthy 
of him. Poor Clement I he loved Melissa Aquitaine so deeply and 
hopelessly still ; and he was determined to struggle with that futile 
love like a man, and go out into the great thrilling world of enter- 
prise and do something worthy of a man. So Geraldine kept saying 
to herself, and so she believed ; and it was for this reason that she 
felt more convinced than ever that she had done right in consenting 
to marry Captain Marion. 

Meantime, Captain Marion himself was not perhaps so entirely 
happy as one ought to be who is about to renew his youth in the 
sweetness of a romantic marriage. He did not like having to talk 
about his intended marriage to anyone. He dreaded having to 
make such a communication to his daughters. He was in a bewilder- 
ment of joy and hope and doubt "What will people say?" he 
could not help asking himself. Would they talk of May and 
December? Would they say much about his age ? Would anyone 
remark that there was no fool like an old fool ? A painful memory of 
some scenes in Mol&re's " Manage Forcd " came into his mind. He 
thought of the elderly lover in that masterpiece of grim sardonic 
humour. He wondered whether in some people's eyes he might not 
look a little like the hero of the play; but he thought, "At all events, 
nobody can say that Geraldine is like the heroine. 1 ' He dreaded 
the pert commentary of his daughter Katherine, and her complacent 
declarations that it only proved that she had been right from the 
beginning. He dreaded Sydney's cold and complaining looks. He 
wondered what Aquitaine would say and what Montana would think. 
He had acted wholly upon impulse, exactly as Geraldine had done 
for her part But somehow, the surrender to impulse which seems 
touching, engaging, and even noble, on the part of a woman, looks 
only feeble and foolish in a man. Captain Marion was not a strong 
man in any sense. There was a good deal of the feminine in his 
sweet and sunny temperament. When his talk with Geraldine 
began, he had not had the faintest notion of where it was to lead ; 
and in all probability, but for Katherine Trescoe's previous sugges- 
tion, it never would have led whither it did. He was drawn on 

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272 The GiHtlem&ris Magazine. 

step by step. He saw that Geraldine was perplexed and unhappy* 
with, perhaps, a dreary life spreading out before her. 

He felt that he could not lose her society without a great sense of 
sacrifice, and he thought on the whole it would be better for him and 
for her that they should not part, and thus he was led to his offer 1 * 
which, perhaps to his surprise, she so readily accepted He knew 
very well she did not love him, and he had even yet good sense 
enough left to know that at his age he was not likely to be the object 
of a girl's love. Sometimes he told himself, as Othello does, that 
his decline into the vale of years was not much. He was still, in a cer- 
tain limited sense, a comparatively young man — for a middle-aged man. 
Victor Hugo prefers fifty years to forty, on the ground that fifty is the 
youth of old age, whereas forty is the old age of youth. Captain Marion 
was still fairly in the youth of old age, and it was not yet out of the 
nature of things that a woman might be found who, taking him all 
round, would think him worth falling in love with. But it was not likely 
that a girl of Geraldine Rowan's youth and brilliancy and vivid tem- 
perament should fall in love with a gentleman of his years, with 
whom she had been living almost like a daughter for months back. 
At all events, it was certain that she was not in love with him— did not 
profess or pretend to be. She liked him enough to be willing to 
marry him, and that was all. He was in doubtful and troubled mood for 
all his happiness, and had to tell himself that he had done the right 
thing, and that he was perfecdy happy, in order to be quite assured 
on both subjects. To one person he made up his mind the news 
must be told at once. He would let Montana know of what had 
happened without delay, for Geraldine s sake and for Montana's own 
sake. It must be made known that Geraldine was open to no further 
love-making on the part of anyone. Captain Marion would put 
that to Montana in clear, firm, and kindly words, and Geraldine 
would be relieved from any further unwelcome pressure. On that 
point Marion felt no hesitation or fear. He did not mind facing 
Montana or any man on that or any other subject. He was afraid 
of Katherine and afraid of Sydney, but the lords of creation had 
no terrors for him. 

Digitized by 


The Comet of a Season. 273 

Chapter XXVIII. 


The season was drawing to a close. The path of the comet 
was nearly traced. Montana now had set his mind on nothing 
better than an honourable retreat, a brilliant going-out, a departure 
in something like effulgence, leaving a noble afterglow behind it 
He could see plainly enough that the interest and the excitement 
about him were not to be kept up much longer. By the time the 
next season came, even if he were in England — and he had 
determined not to be in England — some new hero of the hour 
would have been found, some new question in science, or theo- 
logy, or economics, or spiritualism would engage the attention of 
the world. He felt satisfied that he had done the best he could, 
and all he could. He was not displeased, on the whole, with the 
part he had played ; only, he wanted to leave the stage with the ap- 
plause of the spectators, and to remain a distinct and gracious memory 
in their minds. Even this he began to see would require some tact 
and some courage to accomplish. 

Many things were against him. He had done nothing whatever 
to advance the great enterprise in the name of which he had come 
from the New World to the Old. He had hardly bestowed a thought 
upon it during his London season. It had never had shape enough 
to make it necessary for him to think much about it. It was a cloud 
floating in cloudland, and seemed to be growing smaller and vaguer, 
not larger and more compact, as the time went on. Now that he 
was compelled to make up his mind and to turn his thoughts to it, 
and that the hour had come when he must decide whether he would 
go on or abandon the project, it seemed clear to him that it was 
unmanageable, for the present at least, and that some means must be 
found for releasing him from the discredit of having tried and failed. 
Half-fanatic and half-playactor as he had been from the first, his mind 
was as much set on keeping up the illusion about himself and leaving 
fame and credit behind him among those he knew in London, as if 
that fame and credit were a substance in themselves, or could, under 
such conditions, be anything better than firework and jugglery. 

He was anxious now that the plot, whatever it were, against him 
should explode at once. He wanted to have the thing out and be 
done with it. He did not feel much fear of the result There was 
no evidence he could think of which could possibly convict him of 
any deception. He had only to stand fast and keep composed, 

vol. ecu. no. 1809. t 

274 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

as he was pretty sure to do, maintaining that he was what he said he 
was, and nothing else, and it seemed absolutely impossible that any- 
one could confute him. He knew he would have believers always, 
even in the teeth of very strong substantial evidence, and did not see 
how such strong substantial evidence could possibly be obtained. 

Once that explosion was over, he would be free to go back to 
America ; and before that came, he could not stir. He was much 
perplexed at the time by the incessant visits and importunities of 
poor Matthew Starr. Starr came to him or wrote to him almost every 
day, entreating to know how the great scheme was going on, where 
in America they were to pitch their tents, and when they were to 
start for the new home. Starr was made miserable and impatient by 
the misery and impatience of his daughter, who was eating her heart 
out with querulousness, and was making him eat his heart out too. 
He watched over the girl with a sickening terror day and night He 
was afraid that at last she would cease to believe in Montana and 
his great new world, and in her despair would fling herself back to 
her old life, and leave her father. 

Sometimes the old man's impatience took the form of vehement 
doubt, and he came and challenged and questioned Montana as 
though he were some wild inquisitor endeavouring to extort con- 
fession from a prejudged culprit It took all Montana's composure 
and patience and temper to be able to bear with the rough old 
Chartist. There were times when Starr went so far as to threaten 
Montana that some terrible judgment would come on him if he 
had deceived poor men and women, and if the great scheme was not 
to go forward after all. 

" Look here, Mr. Montana," he said once, fiercely striking his fist 
on Montana's table ; " I have set my heart on this, and I have staked 
my daughter's soul on it, and if we are to be deceived in this, by 
God, I'll go mad, and 111 do something dreadful — I know I shall. 
But you can't be deceiving me ; you are not deceiving me. Oh, do 
tell us when this is to come off." 

Montana could only reassure him in the old words, which were 
evidently beginning to lose their influence, and this sort of thing had 
to be gone through many times in the course of a week. Montana 
wrote to Mr. Aquitaine a friendly half-apologetic letter, in which, 
without coming directly to the question of poor Melissa's escapade, 
he expressed his earnest wish that Aquitaine should believe him free 
of any responsibility for what had happened ; and Aquitaine wrote to 
him again, a cold, sad letter, in which he said he could attach no 
blame to Montana, but only wished they had never met 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

The Comet of a Season. 275 

One thing Montana was determined on — it should not be his fault 
if he did not cany Geraldine with him when he returned to America. 
He had set his heart on this, and he believed he could accomplish it. 
If he should succeed in that, his time in London would not have 
been lost There would be a sensation of success about the visit, let 
it end as it otherwise might In most other ways he was beginning 
to feel that failure threatened him. He really had. of late grown to 
be passionate in his love for the girl and his desire to conquer her 
affection. He had resolved that he would appeal to her confidence, 
tell her everything she cared to know about him, persuade her that he 
had a high deliberate motive for everything he did, and endeavour 
thus to win her respect for his steady purpose and his strength of will. 
This resolve of his was made partly in obedience to impulse — the 
sudden strange impulse of a lonely man to take some one into his 
confidence ; and partly, too, it was founded on that calculation of 
which we have spoken already — the calculation that a girl like Geral- 
dine Rowan was to be subdued only by some one who should show a 
strength of will before which any purpose of hers must bend. He 
would prove to the girl that he was made to be the master of her will, 
that she could not escape from him. Besides, when he had told her 
all, he need care nothing about Trescoe's investigations. Geraldine, 
in his confidence, would be with him, and not against him. What 
woman is ungrateful to the man who trusts her with all his secrets? 

The first moment when Montana saw Geraldine on the deck of the 
steamer in New York Bay, he was drawn to her in a manner strange 
to him — indeed, unknown to him before. She had from that moment a 
profound interest for him which grew and grew every day. He spoke 
but the truth when he said that from the moment when he first saw 
her he was determined, if he could, to have her for his wife. In all 
his varied career, he had not felt like this to any woman before. 
Geraldine was a strange disturbing element in his calculations, dis- 
tracting the arrangements of his life. He had not counted on any- 
thing like this. He thought he could move about amongst men and 
women as if they were some inanimate instruments of his purposes. 
He had never thought of the possibility of some influence coming in on 
him to disturb his plans and projects. He had been loved by so many 
women without loving them in return that the possibility of his 
falling in love had not lately entered his mind. Now that the possi- 
bility had become a reality, it filled him with a strange blending of 
delight and vexation. He was angry with himself sometimes at the 
thought that the attraction of a woman could thus disturb and dis- 
tract him ; and yet, at the same time, the novelty of the sensati< 

276 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

brought a curious joy that penetrated his soul, and made him feel 
as if he were renewing his youth. So he resolved that he would go 
and see Geraldine, and bring her to a decision, and he scarcely 
doubted that the decision would be as he wished it He was filled 
beforehand with the assurance of success. That success would 
repay him for failure of any other kind. It would open a new life to 
him. Why, he asked himself, should he not give up all his plans and 
schemes, his futile ambition to govern the minds and careers of men, 
his idle wish to stand alone and apart upon a pinnacle above the 
crowd ? Why should he care any longer to be the comet of a 
season ? 

The memory came back upon him of the time when he had heard 
those words quoted long ago in the northern city. He remembered 
the loving tender admiration which strove to turn his ambition away 
from the mere desire to blaze the comet of a season. Would it 
not have been better if he had taken the lesson then ? Life, after all, 
had since that time been but an empty, lonely kind of work for him. 
But in the depths of his heart he was glad he now was free, and could 
ask Geraldine Rowan to marry him. Why should he not live happily, 
quietly, with her, and begin for the first time to find enjoyment and 
peace in life? He began to grow almost sentimental. His mood 
was idyllic The future looked flowery and bright and serene. 
Strange that at the very same moment Geraldine Rowan, herself full 
of dejection and perplexity, was filling the minds of two men with 
the happy conviction that she was made by Providence for them ! 
Led by this thought, Montana was setting forth on his mission when 
a letter from Captain Marion was put into his hands which sent a 
thrill through him. He read it again and again before he had satis- 
fied himself that he fully understood its meaning. But there it was, 
clear as written language could make it — Geraldine Rowan was 
engaged to marry Captain Marion ; and Captain Marion said, in 
friendly but firm words, that any further visits from Montana would 
be unwelcome to her. 

When the moment came to do anything, Montana was not a man 
to hesitate. He went to Marion's house at once and asked to see 
Miss Rowan. He bade the maid not to tell Miss Rowan who it was 
that wanted her ; but merely to say that she was wanted. His quiet 
subduing manner was irresistible, and the woman obeyed him with- 
out a word or a doubt. Geraldine was simply told that some one 
wanted to speak to her in the drawing-room, and she came down 
not thinking of anything in particular. She was, for a moment, 
almost alarmed when she saw Montana, and her eyes met his. She 

The Comet of a Season, 2J7 

knew that he had heard of what had happened. She had to compel 
her courage to stand by her. 

" Is this true that I hear of you ?" Montana asked abruptly. 

Most other women would probably have avoided the question by 
asking, "What do you hear about me?" but Geraldine did not 
care to affect not to understand him. 

" It is true," she said coldly. 

" Why have you done it ?" he asked. " What mad impulse could 
have possessed you ? You are making your life unhappy." 

" No," she answered, " I am not making my life unhappy. I 
don't think I should much mind if I were, so long as I had the sense 
of trying to make somebody else happy. But I shall not be unhappy. 
I shall be well content." 

" You, with your youth and your beauty and your high principles, 
are you really going to sacrifice yourself in that way ? Somebody 
ought to interfere who has authority over you. It is shocking. It is 
shameful of Marion. I did not think he could have done it" 

"Because he is so much older than I?" Geraldine asked bit- 

" Yes ; that for one reason," he said. " He is too much older than 
you. You look at me ; but I am a good deal younger than Marion, 
and I had something to offer which he never could have. Life would 
have been worth having with me." 

"Life will be worth having with him. He will be kind and 
loving to me, and I shall be loving and devoted to him." 

" But you cannot feel love for him, for a man of his years, with 
grown-up daughters as old as you — older than you, for anything I 
know. It is impossible. There is nothing in him to deserve a young 
woman's love. It is monstrous. You trample on every true principle 
by such an arrangement It is only an arrangement What on earth 
has driven you to such a step ?" 

" You have driven me to it," she said, " if you want to know 
the truth — you, and nobody else. You persecuted me. You told 
me that you would not cease to persecute me ; and more than that, 
you made me afraid that my own will was not free. You always told 
me so. You told me you would never let me go. Well, I was glad 
to find any way of breaking through such servitude as that. I 
would rather be dead than be married to you, Mr. Montana : you 
can easily think how much rather I would live and be married to 
Captain Marion, for whom I have affection — yes, true affection. If 
you are really sorry for me, blame yourself. You are the cause." 

"This can be undone : it is not too late." 

278 The Gentlemaris Magazine. 

" No," Geraldine firmly said, " it shall not be undone by me or by 
anyone for me. It should not be undone, if there were no other 
reason, so long as you were on this side of the Atlantic. You have 
destroyed my life, Mr. Montana, if that is any good to you." 

This might have seemed a little inconsistent, if Montana had been 
in a mood for noticing inconsistency. Just a moment before the girl had 
said that she would be perfectly happy, and that she looked forward 
with full contentment to her life in the future. Now she spoke of 
her life as destroyed, and by him. There could be little doubt from 
the tone of her voice which sentiment more truly expressed what she 

Montana was touched by her pathetic, half-unconscious expression. 
" Is that true ? " he asked gravely. " Have I really been the cause of 
your destroying your life in this way ? Have I been so fatal to you ? " 

" You have," Geraldine answered sadly ; " you have been fatal to 
me, and I think to everyone else you came near — here, at all events. 
You have wrecked the happiness of all our group. We were very 
happy and fond and bound together till you came, and now there is 
nothing but disunion and distrust and bitterness. Don't think about 
me ; think about others who are far greater sufferers. I am content, 
on the whole. I shall be happy enough. " 

"You said this moment that your life was destroyed; and I 
think you spoke the truth. I think your life is destroyed. I hate to 
think of the prospect before you. Poor girl ! so young and so 
charming, and so utterly thrown away 1 Who would not feel sorry 
for you? I did not think the fate of any woman could trouble me 
so much ; and indeed, if I am the cause of it in any way whatever, 
I am sorry for it." 

" Why did you persecute me ? " she asked vehemently. 

" Because I thought so much of you," he said. " Because I saw 
in you what I saw in no other woman ; and because I loved you as 
truly and as deeply as I could love anybody, or ever could ; and 
because I thought you would be a prize to have." 

" Yes," Geraldine interrupted him, " because you thought that I 
would be a prize to have ! I don't know why you thought that, or 
what prize I could be to anyone. But you thought so, and that was 
the reason why you persecuted me. It was not love for me. I don't 
believe it ; I never did. It was because I showed that I had no trust 
in you, and because I kept away from you, and you were determined 
to conquer and to have your way. It was your own vanity all the time, 
Mr. Montana, and not any love for me. I could forgive it, I could 
excuse it, if I thought it was even selfish love for D roe. d b $ut it was 

The Comet of a Season. 279 

not— it was love for yourself; it was vanity — vanity that is in every 
word you say and every thing you do. You have made my life a 
sacrifice to your vanity as you have made others, and you will have 
to sacrifice yourself to it in the end." 

Montana never before admired her so much as now, when she 
was declaiming against him with unwonted energy and passion, 
and with all the eloquence which emotion lends to impulsive 
women. After all, there was a sort of complacent satisfaction in 
the thought that, if she was sacrificing herself to. Captain Marion, 
it was not for Captain Marion's sake, but only because she dreaded 
Montana's too fatal influence. She was escaping from him like 
some classical nymph escaping from a pursuing divinity, and rushing 
she knew not whither. Yes; there was a certain gratification to 
Montana's vanity in the thought, and out of satisfied vanity perhaps 
he became more kindly towards her and more anxious to do something 
that might soften her. 

" Is there anything," he said, " I can do by way of atonement — 
supposing this wretched, cruel bargain is to be carried out?" 

" Only one thing," she said, " you could possibly do for me." 

"What is that?" he asked eagerly. 

" Go away from me, and let me not see you any more." 

He turned upon her. " You talk of suffering, and yet you seem 
to have no feeling whatever for my suffering in all this. Do you 
think it is nothing for me to have striven for you and to have lost 
you ? Do you think it is nothing for me to see you given over to 
one who is entirely below your level ; who, good and kind creature 
though he is, is absurdly unworthy of you ? Do you think the very 
failure is nothing to me ? Do you think I don't feel this, Geraldine ? 
If your life is destroyed, so is mine. I care nothing about that. I 
am too deeply disappointed. You are the only woman for whom 
I ever really cared in all my life, and you have turned against me ; 
and now you tell me that the only thing I can do for you is never 
to see you again ! " 

"Think of others," she said vehemently, "to whom you have 
done still more wrong." 

"What others?" Montana asked. "You don't mean poor 
Melissa Aquitaine ? If she is unhappy, you know I had no part in 
that You know, and nobody knows so well as you, that I was not 
to blame. Don't be unjust to me, Geraldine." 

" If you had not come near us she would be happy." 

For a moment Montana felt as if he were restored to the very 
best and purest days of his youth— to the days when, mingling in 

280 The Gentlematts Magtmne. 

with all maimer of personal aims and schemes and dreams for his 
own advancement and greatness, there was still some silver thread 
of devotion to the higher principles of honour and purity and love. 
It seemed for a time as if this sense had come back to him, and as 
if, after all, success in the world, and notoriety or fame or whatever 
it might be, were things not so satisfying to the soul as the conviction 
that one has done a generous deed. 

He was really touched by Geraldine's unhappiness and by her 
resolve not to withdraw from the burden she had brought upon 

" I wish I had seen you earlier, Geraldine," he said, " if that 
could have been possible. I wish I had known you when I was a 
young man, and that you could have been young then or that I 
were young now, and beginning all over again. I think you are a 
woman with whom an ambitious man might have gone on honour- 
ably and well, and not have failed in his ambition either. I am 
sorry to see you throw yourself away, and I am sorry, deeply sorry, 
if it is my fault" 

" You will soon forget me/' Geraldine said. " This mood won't 
last long. Vou will return to your own schemes and your own 
ambitions, and you will think very little of me." 

" I shall never forget you. Do not mistake me, Geraldine. I 
mean what I say now. I feel it. I am not really the kind of 
hypocrite you believe me to be. I have a destiny, and I must fulfil 

Geraldine smiled sadly, and shook her head. " I don't believe 
in destiny," she said. 

" Well, well," Montana answered, " we'll not argue about that, 
Geraldine. I have a way appointed me, and I mean to tread it. 
But one may stop on the way and grieve for some one whom he sees 
in distress. So I feel for you. I pray for your forgiveness ; and I 
will do something that you will be pleased with. I am going to do 
it now, and to stand by it, just as you stand by what you have 

He held his hand out. She gave him hers. Before she could 
withdraw it he had raised it to his lips respectfully, and with a not 
obtrusive suggestion of tenderness and melancholy. Then he left 
her, and she wondered what it was that he was going to do which was 
to please her. 

Montana met Melissa's maid on the stairs. He knew the girl 
very well by sight 

" Is Miss Aquitaine in ? " he asked. 

Digitized by CjOOQ iC 

The Comet of a Season. 281 

Yes, Miss Aquitaine was in ; she was in the library. 

"Can I see her?" Then he stopped, and said, "No; don't 
announce me. I will go and see her myself." 

He went to the library and opened the door without knocking, 
and he saw Melissa seated on the library steps. She had evidently 
had a book in her hand, but it had fallen to the floor, and lay there 
on its face with outspread covers. 

Melissa looked up when she heard the sound of the opening 
door. She turned crimson at sight of Montana. He went straight 
to her without saying a word until he had come close beside her, 
and he took her by both hands as she rose. 

" Melissa," he said, " I have come to ask you something. You 
told me before that you cared for me and would be willing to join 
your fate with mine, I have come now to ask you, Will you marry 
me and go out to America with me ? If you say you will, I will 
write to your father at once. I think he will not refuse his 

Melissa's heart beat with wild surprise, with joy and hope, and with 
fear as well. She looked wistfully into his face. It was not the face 
of a lover. It was the face of one who feels compassion, and who 
thinks he is performing a duty. But after all the poor little girl 
never expected to find a lover in him ; that she had always known 
to be quite out of the question. She would as soon have expected 
that some mythological deity should come down from the clouds of 
sunset and offer himself as her lover. It would be happiness and 
heaven, she thought, to take Montana on any terms, to be tied a 
captive to the chariot-wheel of his fortunes. And yet there was in 
her nature, with all its passionate impulse and its weakness and its 
whim, something womanly enough to make her blush and shrink 
back from the thought of being thus taken on sufferance and out of 

" Oh, Mr. Montana," she murmured, " this is too much. I did 
not expect this. I'm not prepared for it \ and I am not worthy of 
you, or fit for you. I know it You ought to marry somebody else. 

You ought to marry " Then she stopped, and set her little teeth 

firmly, and got out the words with great difficulty, " You ought to 
many Geraldine Rowan." 

Some tremor, however slight, must have passed over Montana's 
face, for Melissa said at once, " And you would have married her, 
perhaps, but she would not? Yes, she is a strange, odd girl ; proud, 
and not miserable and abject like me. She would not many you, 
and so you have come to me ? Is that true, Mr. Montana ? ' 

Montana ? " 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

282 The Gentleman, } s Magazine. 

"It is true," Montana said, "since you ask me. I will not 
conceal it There is a great deal about Geraldine Rowan that I 
always thought would make her well suited for me and for my 
purposes. But I did not conceal this from you before, Melissa, and 
I don't know why you should mind it now. You told me that you 
cared about me at a time when you must have known this, and why 
shouldn't you care about me still ? All I can say is, that if you will 
marry me I shall be glad of it ; and I shall be proud of it too, 
Melissa," he added ; " any man might well be proud of such devo- 
tion as yours. You risked a great deal to do me some good. Why 
may I not show that I am grateful ? This is the only way in which 
I can show it, and so I ask you, Will you marry me, Melissa ? " 

Melissa did not answer for a moment Passionate conflicting 
thoughts were struggling within her. " Oh," she exclaimed, " I wish 
I had the courage and the spirit to refuse you, Mr. Montana. It is 
beggarly in a girl to give herself on such terms. You only take me 
out of compassion. But I haven't the courage and I haven't the 
spirit I am broken down. I have lost all spirit Everyone 
despises me. I feel like a miserable prisoner in this house. I hate 
life here, and I long to drown myself. I have often, ever so often, 
thought of killing myself. Why should not I take your offer, since you 
are good enough and generous enough to say you will save me from 
this misery and shame ? " 

He took bodi her hands in his again and drew her towards him, 
and, stooping down, kissed her, not on the lips — Melissa noticed 
that even then — but on the forehead. 

" That is well," he said in his composed, almost chill way. " You 
have shown me how to better my own life, Melissa, and I will try to 
make you happy. I will write to Mr. Aquitaine to-day. He will 
consent, I am sure." 

"He will consent," Melissa said, looking shamefacedly down. 
" After all that has passed, how could he refuse ? If he does refuse, 
and this is not to be, I will get out of the scrape of living 

" No need of that," Montana said encouragingly. " I will write 
to Mr. Aquitaine at once. It will all come right" 

" Sometimes I think things never will come right with me again 
in life, and that the hour would be best for me which brought it all 
to an end. But, as you are so good and kind to me, I must not 
think so any more." 

" No," Montana said ; " you must not have gloomy thoughts any 
more, Melissa, You will be happy." 

The Comet of a Season. 283 

After a while he left her and went out of the house, looking 
anything but like a happy lover whose hopes have been crowned by 
the loved one's promise. His face was even more than usually 
melancholy in its expressioa But he went out of the house not 
regretting anything that he had done. He was determined to stand up 
with something of the character and appearance of a hero in the eyes 
of Geraldine Rowan. For the present all his thoughts and purposes 
were centred on that desire. She should not think of him as merely 
deceitful and selfish. If the career of a comet of a season was to 
close, it should at least close upon her eyes with something of a blaze 
of light Montana was always contemplating himself in some 
statuesque and heroic attitude. He loved to feed his soul on such 
contemplation. This time, on the whole, he was well content He 
saw himself as he hoped he must appear to Geraldine Rowan — a 
self-sacrificing, noble, almost godlike person, stooping from his 
ethereal height to lift up and cherish some poor flower he had trodden 
by the way as he passed. 

(To be continued.) 

Digitized by 


284 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


SINCE in Athens God stood plain for adoration, 
Since the sun beheld his likeness reared in stone, 
Since the bronze or gold of human consecration 

Gave to Greece her guardian's form and feature shown, 
Never hand of sculptor, never heart of nation, 

Found so glorious aim in all these ages flown 
As is theirs who rear for all time's acclamation 

Here the likeness of our mightiest and their own. 

Theirs and ours and all men's living who behold him 

Crowned with garlands multiform and manifold ; 
Praise and thanksgiving of all mankind enfold him 

Who for all men casts abroad his gifts of gold. 
With the gods of song have all men's tongues enrolled him, 

With the helpful gods have all men's hearts enrolled : 
Ours he is who love him, ours whose hearts' hearts hold him 

Fast as his the trust that hearts like his may hold. 

He, the heart most high, the spirit on earth most blameless, 

Takes in charge all spirits, holds all hearts in trust : 
As the sea-wind's on the sea his ways are tameless, 

As the laws that steer the world his works are just. 
All most noble feel him nobler, all most shameless 

Feel his wrath and scorn make pale their pride and lust : 
All most poor and lowliest, all whose wrongs were nameless, 

Feel his word of comfort raise them from the dust 

Pride of place and lust of empire bloody-fruited 

Knew the blasting of his breath on leaf and fruit : 

Now the hand that smote the death-tree now disrooted 
Plants the refuge-tree that has man's hope for root 

The Statue of Victor Hugo. 285 

Ah, but we by whom his darkness was saluted, 
How shall now all we that see his day salute ? 

How should love not seem by love's own speech confuted! 
Song before the sovereign singer not be mute ? 

With what worship, by what blessing, in what measure, 

May we sing of him, salute him, or adore, 
With what hymn for praise, what thanksgiving for pleasure, 

Who had given us more than heaven, and gives us more ? 
Heaven's whole treasury, filled up full with night's whole treasure, 

Holds not so divine or deep a starry store 
As the soul supreme that deals forth worlds at leisure 

Clothed with light and darkness, dense with flower and ore. 

Song had touched the bourn : fresh verses overflow it, 

Loud and radiant, waves on waves on waves that throng ; 
Still the tide grows, and the sea-mark still below it 

Sinks and shifts and rises, changed and swept along. 
Rose it like a rock? the waters overthrow it, 

And another stands beyond them sheer and strong : 
Goal by goal pays down its prize, and yields its poet 

Tribute claimed of triumph, palm achieved of song. 

Since his hand that holds the keys of fear and wonder 

Opened on the high-priest's dreaming eyes a door 
Whence the lights of heaven and hell above and under 

Shone, and smote the face that men bow down before, 
Thrice again one singer's note had cloven in sunder 

Night, who blows again not one blast now but four, 
And the fourfold heaven is kindled with his thunder, 

And the stars about his forehead are fourscore. 


From the deep soul's depths where alway love abounded 
First had risen a song with healing on its wings 

Whence the dews of mercy raining balms unbounded 
Shed their last compassion even on sceptred things. 1 

iLaPitUSuprtrnc. 1879. 

286 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Even on heads that like a curse the crown surrounded 
Fell his crowning pity, soft as cleansing springs ; 

And the sweet last note his wrath relenting sounded 

Bade men's hearts be melted not for slaves but kings. 


Next, that faith might strengthen fear and love embolden, 

On the creeds of priests a scourge of sunbeams fell : 
And its flash made bare the deeps of heaven, beholden 

Not of men that cry, Lord, Lord, from church or cell. 1 
Hope as young as dawn from night obscure and olden 

Rose again, such power abides in truth's one spell : 
Night, if dawn it be that touches her, grows golden ; 

Tears, if such as angels weep, extinguish hell. 

Through the blind loud mills of barren blear-eyed learning 

Where in dust and darkness children's foreheads bow, 
While men's labour, vain as wind or water turning 

Wheels and sails of dreams, makes life a leafless bough, 
Fell the light of scorn and pity touched with yearning, 

Next, from words that shone as heaven's own kindling brow. 2 
Stars were these as watch-fires on the world's waste burning, 

Stars that fade not in the fourfold sunrise now. 8 

Now the voice that faints not till all wrongs be wroken 

Sounds as might the sun's song from the morning's breast, 
All the seals of silence sealed of night are broken, 

All the winds that bear the fourfold word are blest 
All the keen fierce east flames forth one fiery token ; 

All the north is loud with life that knows not rest, 
All the south with song as though the stars had spoken ; 

All the judgment-fire of sunset scathes the west 


Sound of paean, roll of chanted panegyric, 

Though by Pindar's mouth song's trumpet spake forth praise, 
March of warrior songs in Pythian mood or Pyrrhic, 

Though the blast were blown by lips of ancient days, 
1 Religions et Religion. 1880. « VAne. i88o. 

• Les Quatre Vents de V Esprit. I. Le Livre satirique. II. Le Livre dramatique, 
III. Le Livre lyrique. iv. Le Livre Sptque. 1881. 

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The Statue of Victor Hugo. 287 

Ring not clearer than the clarion of satiric 

Song whose breath sweeps bare the plague-infected ways 
Till the world be pure as heaven is for the lyric 

Sun to rise up clothed with radiant sounds as rays. 

Clear across the cloud-rack fluctuant and erratic 

As the strong star smiles that lets no mourner mourn, 
Hymned alike from lips of Lesbian choirs or Attic 

Once at evensong and morning newly born, 
Clear and sure above the changes of dramatic 

Tide and current, soft with love and keen with scorn, 
Smiles the strong sweet soul of maidenhood, ecstatic 

And inviolate as the red glad mouth of morn. 


Pure and passionate as dawn, whose apparition 

Thrills with fire from heaven the wheels of hours that whirl, 
Rose and passed her radiance in serene transition 

From his eyes who sought a grain and found a pearl. 
But the food by cunning hope for vain fruition 

Lightly stolen away from keeping of a churl 
Left the bitterness of death and hope's perdition 

On the lip that scorn was wont for shame to curL 1 

Over waves that darken round the wave-worn rover 

Rang his clarion higher than winds cried round the ship, 
Rose a pageant of set suns and storms blown over, 

Hands that held life's guerdons fast or let them slip. 
But no tongue may tell, no thanksgiving discover, 

Half the heaven of blessing, soft with clouds that drip, 
Keen with beams that kindle, dear as love to lover, 

Opening by the spell's strength on his lyric lip. 


By that spell the soul transfigured and dilated 

Puts forth wings that widen, breathes a brightening air, 

Feeds on light and drinks of music, whence elated 

All her sense grows godlike, seeing all depths made bare, 

1 Les Deux Trouvailles de Callus. I. Margarita, comtdie. u. Esca % dramt. 

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288 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

All the mists wherein before she sat belated 

Shrink, till now the sunlight knows not if they were; 

All this earth transformed is Eden recreated, 

With the breath of heaven remurmuring in her hair. 

Sweeter far than aught of sweet that April nurses 

Deep in dew-dropt woodland folded fast and furled 
Breathes the fragrant song whose burning dawn disperses 

Darkness, like the surge of armies backward hurled, 
Even as though the touch of spring's own hand, that pierces 

Earth with life's delight, had hidden in the impearled 
Golden bells and buds and petals of his verses 

All the breath of all the flowers in all the world 


But the soul therein, the light that our souls follow, 

Fires and fills the song with more of prophet's pride, 
More of life than all the gulfs of death may swallow, 

More of flame than all the might of night may hide. 
Though the whole dark age were loud and void and hollow, 

Strength of trust were here, and help for all souls tried, 
And a token from the flight of that strange swallow x 

Whose migration still is toward the wintry side. 

Never came such token for divine solution 

From the oraculous live darkness whence of yore 
Ancient faith sought word of help and retribution, 

Truth to lighten doubt, a sign to go before. 
Never so baptismal waters of ablution 

Bathed the brows of exile on so stern a shore, 
Where the lightnings of the sea of revolution 

Flashed across them ere its thunders yet might roar. 

By the lightning's light of present revelation 

Shewn, with epic thunder as from skies that frown, 
Clothed in darkness as of darkling expiation, 

Rose a vision of dead stars and suns gone down, 

1 Je suis une hirondelle rftrange, car j 'emigre 
Du c6td de l'hiver. 

Le Litre lyrique, i. iii. 

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The Statue of Victor Hugo. 289 

Whence of old fierce fire devoured the star-struck nation, 

Till its wrath and woe lit red the raging town, 
Now made glorious with his statue's crowning station, 

Where may never gleam again a viler crown. 


King, with time for throne and all the years for pages, 

He shall reign though all thrones else be overhurled, 
Served of souls that have his living words for wages, 

Crowned of heaven each dawn that leaves his brows impearled : 
Girt about with robes unrent of storm that rages, 

Robes not wrought with hands, from no loom's weft unfurled ; 
All the praise of all earth's tongues in all earth's ages, 

All the love of all men's hearts in all the world. 


Yet what hand shall carve the soul or cast the spirit, 

Mould the face of fame, bid glory's feature glow? 
Who bequeath for eyes of ages hence to inherit 

Him, the Master, whom love knows not if it know ? 
Scarcely perfect praise of men man's work might merit, 

Scarcely bid such aim to perfect stature grow, 
Were his hand the hand of Phidias who shall rear it, 

And his soul the very soul of Angelo. 


Michael, awful angel of the world's last session, 

Once on earth, like him, with fire of suffering tried, 
Thine it were, if man's it were, without transgression, 

Thine alone, to take this toil upon thy pride. 
Thine, whose heart was great against the world's oppression, 

Even as his whose word is lamp and staff and guide : 
Advocate for man, untired of intercession, 

Pleads his voice for slaves whose lords his voice defied. 


Earth, with all the kings and thralls on earth, below it, 
Heaven alone, with all the worlds in heaven, above, 

Let his likeness rise for suns and stars to know it, 

High for men to worship, plain for men to love D ; giti2 

VOL. CCLI. NO. 1809. U 

290 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Brow that braved the tides which fain would overflow it, 
Lip that gave the challenge, hand that flung the glove ; 

Comforter and prophet, Paraclete and poet, 

Soul whose emblems are an eagle and a dove. 


Sun, that hast not seen a loftier head wax hoary, 

Earth, which hast not shown the sun a nobler birth, 
Time, that hast not on thy scroll defiled and gory 

One man's name writ brighter in its whole wide girth, 
Witness, till the final years fulfil their story, 

Till the stars break off the music of their mirth, 
What among the sons of men was this man's glory, 

What the vesture of his soul revealed on earth. 

June 1881. 

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THE comforts and luxuries introduced into travelling on land 
are so often said or sung, that we are in danger of not doing 
full justice to the wonderful improvements made and making in 
ocean travelling. However wealthy and weli-intentioned a modern 
steamship company may be, the association is not yet incorporated 
which can guarantee to the passenger immunity from an evil which 
may be passed lightly over at present, but which will certainly 
suggest itself to many readers, and prompt them to regard ironically 
any attempt to show that an ocean voyage can under any circum- 
stances be luxurious, comfortable, or barely tolerable. Yet it must be 
admitted that the proprietors of the main lines of ocean steamers have 
done wonders in alleviating the discomforts of life on ship-board 
and making their vessels, as nearly as they can be made, floating 
hotels. A brief description of a recent voyage from Sydney will 
enable the traveller who remembers it in a sailing ship, or in the 
steamers which did good service in their day as the pioneers of the 
present magnificent fleets, to make a contrast Further, it may give 
a useful hint to that rapidly increasing number of wanderers, ladies 
as well as gentlemen, who so frequently in these days substitute "a 
run to Australia " for the continental tour once considered a neces- 
sity and a limit. 

At Sydney, the Orient steamers lie at moorings in the harbour ; 
but they will sooner or later have to imitate the example of the 
Peninsular and Oriental Company's boats, and come into the wharf. 
It saves much trouble, no doubt, in many minor ways, from the 
ship's point of view, to be free from too close a connection with the 
shore, and in a sheltered haven like that of Sydney, there is no 
great inconvenience in shipping or transhipping cargo by means of 
lighters. But profuse as are the arrangements for putting passengers 
and their luggage on board, and keeping up constant communication 
between steamer and pier, there must be not a little worry and in- 
convenience. In a word, people prefer to walk comfortably up the 
familiar staging, and cast off from the wharf in the ordinary manner, 
to the fuss and scramble of transhipment in a tender. 

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292 The Gentleman 9 s Magazine. 

After somewhat of confusion at the Circular Quay, Sydney, on the 
morning of February nth, we got ourselves and our belongings on 
board the company's launch, in the humble hope that our packages, 
which had speedily become swallowed up in a vortex of other 
people's luggage, would be found safely on the " John Elder's" deck — 
as, indeed, to dismiss them once for all, they were. The old super- 
stition against sailing on Friday must be now exploded, since the 
vessels of this fleet select it without rebellion amongst the sailors or 
protests from the passengers. If first impressions are lasting, last 
impressions are no less abiding. Though February is a month when 
rain is naturally due in Australia, it was the loveliest of mornings, 
and the famous harbour passed in review before us in its brightest 
array, to become thereafter a remembrance of sunny sparkling beauty. 
The last bell rang for our start on this voyage of (to be quite accurate) 
12,065 miles, with a punctuality worthy of imitation by some railway 
companies that might be named. The passengers' friends, accepting 
the warning, descended the long side ladder into their launch and 
accompanied us, as the little pilot fish accompanies the shark, to 
the Heads. Then they steamed back to Sydney, and we saw them 
no more. 

A few acquaintances were made, likings inspired, and prejudices 
formed on the first day, but generally speaking these inevitable 
occurrences of a lengthened voyage do not ripen within a week, and 
this is especially the case when the ship is for a while not actually 
clear of the land. We had before us a call at Melbourne and another 
at Adelaide, and it was understood that the arrangements as to cabins 
and seats at table were not necessarily final until we were fairly at 
sea. The first stage from Sydney to Melbourne, a distance of 588 
miles, was finished during the forenoon of the 13th February. In 
the interval we ha<^ proceeding with the leisure so delightful when 
afloat, somehow, plenty to do. Valuables — I use the word, I regret 
to say, only because it is the routine expression — were handed to the 
purser, for deposit in his safe ; little ornaments and portraits of faces 
we loved to look upon were arranged around our cabins ; the library 
at the end of the saloon was inspected carefully for future reference; 
and in a variety of ways we devoted ourselves to getting " the run of 
the ship." Sunday is no day when arriving at a port of call, but that 
did not prevent shoals of visitors from coming off" in a gale of wind, 
arriving drenched with spray, or a few passengers from the ship 
absconding at the earliest moment. On Monday, of course, everybody 
went ashore, and we did what could be done with Melbourne, 
quickly reached by train from Sandridge pier, and elected tp spencj 

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Ocean Travelling. 293 

most of our time at the Exhibition, where the English section — fore- 
most in it the fine machinery department of Robinson & Co., of 
Rochdale — was gloiying in the honours it had won. Tuesday found 
the " John Elder " still at anchor in Hobson's Bay, but on the 16th 
February we commenced the next stage of 499 miles, round Cape 
Otway, to Adelaide, arriving in the open roadstead of the newly 
formed port of Semaphore on the 18th, and sailing again on the 
afternoon of the 19th. 

Adelaide, amongst the cities of Australia, has a special beauty of 
its own. In the completeness of its streets, the cultivation of its 
open spaces, and the excellence of its public buildings, it is second to 
no city in Australasia; but its peculiar possession to be envied is the 
range of mountains some eight miles distant by practical measure- 
ment, but apparently ever varying according to the condition of the 
atmosphere. These mountains, thrown in with the well-kept city, 
make Adelaide a remarkably pretty place ; and in the immediate out- 
skirts, the stubble and the ricks, and small grain fields, give an 
English aspect to the capital of South Australia. The reader may be 
assured that this is the only paragraph in the paper which shall smell 
of the guide book, but it comes in as a matter of conscience. In 
an article published in the Gentleman's Magazine in July 1879, and 
reprinted in Travel and Trout (Chatto & Windus, 1880), all the 
Australasian capitals were lightly sketched from personal observation, 
but Adelaide and Perth, and I had now an opportunity of confirm- 
ing the opinion of those travellers who had been loud in praise of 
the metropolis of South Australia. 

Semaphore, it may be added, is used by the Orient boats in 
preference to the older fashioned roadstead, and it is a young and 
roughish place, merely useful as a stepping-stone to the city, eight 
miles up a well-ordered railway line. The steamers of other fleets 
calling at King George's Sound on their outward voyage are honoured 
by the aboriginals, who await the landing of passengers anxious to 
put foot without loss of time on Australian soil, and there and then 
give them a taste of their skill in throwing nullah-nullah, spear, and 
boomerang. They know better, probably, than to waste time with 
the homeward-bound people, who may have seen too much of the 
noble savage in every-day life. The only excitement we had lying 
off Adelaide was given by a shark. He lay under the counter, 
and the water being clear, his movements could be followed. A 
huge brute of about fifteen feet he was, with a shapely form as 
seen from above, and a warm nut-brown colour. The shark hook 
and chain, and the familiar four pounds of pork, were soon forth- 

294 2Tik Gentleman's Magazine. 

coming, and after the bait had been soused up and down for two 
or three minutes, he took it, and went off with a mighty rush. 
We held the rope firmly, but the fish, half leaping out of the 
churned-up water, got off. The hook was filed sharp, and extra 
precautions taken, yet the shark got the better of us four times in 
succession, though he had bolted the meat, and we made sure of 
having him by the throat. Angling, even for the most ferocious 
fish that swims, is therefore as precarious a sport as the finer 
branches of the science. 

The course now lay due west, and for three days the inward 
curve of the great Bight kept us from sight of land. Sailing on 
the Saturday afternoon (19th February), and having a gloriously fine 
night at sea, we were able to hold service on Sunday. The " John 
Elder's" passenger list was now complete, though there were still 
many seals at table vacant. By the 23rd we were off Cape 
D'Entrecasteaflx, which is the western corner, as Cape Horn is 
the eastern of the continent. The calm weather had now filled the 
vacant seats, and settled us down to the long slanting run across the 
Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator to Cape Guardafui. Rules 
and regulations were mastered, the capabilities of our floating hotel 
inspected, and facts ascertained, to wit, that we had been averaging 
280 knots per day ; that there were on board 450 souls, 50 in the 
first saloon, 52 in the second, and 230 m the third and steerage ; and 
lastly, that there were eighteen tons of ice in the icehouse, a plenteous 
stock of live sheep, pigs, and poultry, and a general disposition on 
the part of the captain and his officers to make all classes com- 
fortable. Now began those stern resolutions to work regularly, to 
post up the diary every morning, and to mark off the distance run 
upon the handy track-charts provided by the Company, — resolutions 
which of course were generally abandoned in the lazy atmosphere of 
the Southern latitudes before the expiration of seven days. 

From Adelaide to Aden is 6,158 miles. Between those points 
the engines never stopped. There was nothing but the social life of 
the ship to break the monotony, save in two instances to be referred 
to presently. At this time of the year the sea was calm, and the 
heat not oppressive. The days were, as a rule, bright from the 
moment when the sun rose out of the amber-dappled clouds on one 
side, and set in more ruddy colours on the other. The nights 
were clear, and the heavens spangled with such an expanse of 
brilliant stars as can only be viewed from the centre of the circle of 
which water is the horizon, and in latitudes where the mean Southern 
Cross replaces the grand Great Bear. There were t 
days, and summer lightning often in the evening. 

Ocean Travelling. 295 

The ship being in no class crowded, good humour prevailed 
naturally. In a little manuscript sheet written and published, per 
•electric pen, by a second-Class passenger, at the end of the voyage, 
and sold fore and aft at a shilling per copy, the startling statement 
occurred : " My humble opinion is that animal life is too much 
indulged on board ship, for nowhere else is the saying 'Who is 
greater than he that serves?' more strikingly verified. In most cases 
the cooks and stewards are for the nonce infinitely superior to those 
they wait upon, as greater is he that feeds the donkey than the 
donkey who is fed." The author of this outburst must have been a 
sour soul, and much too economical in the employment of truth. It 
is a common error to suppose that homeward-bound vessels from 
Australia are scenes of riotous living, gambling, and roughness. It 
may have been so in the olden times. But the " lucky digger n of 
to-day is generally a man who digs his gold vicariously, and receives 
his gold dust in the shape of dividends. Be that as it may, our life 
on board the " John Elder " was in the main eminently genteel. The 
captain of the ship would not allow it to be otherwise. At eleven 
o'clock all lights were extinguished, and even the smoking saloon on 
deck was closed. Excess in drinking would be immediately followed 
by an order to the barman to stop the drinker's supply. 

Perhaps the afore-quoted author was a vegetarian whose indigna- 
tion was aroused by the liberally furnished tables. The ordinary 
complaint of the ocean traveller used to be severe against the food 
supplied : it now seems to be taking an opposite direction ; though 
why loyalty to the knife and fork should be considered " animal life" 
puzzles me. From the number of quadrupeds and poultry slaughtered 
every day, one would fancy " animal death " would be nearer the 
mark. Yet it is astonishing to observe how much honest and 
steady eating is achieved on a long voyage, and at first sight it 
does seem as if feeding is the sole object of existence. Let us 
take a day as a sample. 

The luxury of lolling about the decks in pyjamas and bare feet 
must not be indulged in after breakfast at nine o'clock, by which 
hour the ladies will be about The more active of the gentlemen 
will have then had two or three hours' gossip in free and easy attire, 
and attitude. The six baths were occupied according to a time-table 
drawn up by the stewards to suit the convenience of passengers ; and 
as the unpunctuality of one would throw the entire arrangement out 
of gear, there was a source of excitement and amusement provided 
for every day. At half-past six every morning the first table in the 
saloon, and another table on deck, would be laid with tea, coffee, 

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296 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

and cocoa, biscuits and butter, as daintily served as at a first-class 
hotel, and then would be produced the cigarette or pipe puffed over 
the rail, or from the lounging chairs. At nine o'clock breakfast came, 
and thanks to the ice-house, delicacies of all kinds could be kept for 
weeks. Fruit, fish, and vegetables would seem as fresh on the Line 
as if they had come from yesterday's market The breakfast menu 
always contained eight different dishes, and frequently a dozen. 
The Italian baker sent out rolls the like of which can be produced 
in London at but few establishments ; the cooks had graduated in 
the high branches of the profession, and the variety of methods in 
which they cooked potatoes that could be eaten with a relish proved 
as conclusively as their curries and other entries that they were 
worthy of their important trust At half-past twelve the luncheon 
bell rang. There would be soup, and two or three hot side dishes, 
but the mainstay would be cold meats and salad. Dinner — here, as 
ashore, the event of the day — was fixed for half-past five — soups, 
fish, entrees, joints, geese, turkeys, ducks, fowls, or pigeons, as the 
case might be, delicious pastry, dessert, ices, and coffee. The wine 
list was varied and reasonable, and there was a claret the whole 
vintage of which had been purchased some years ago by the com- 
pany. It was fit for any reasonable person, and the price was 
eighteenpence per bottle. The item considerably astonished and 
pleased the Australians, who can at home get nothing of the kind 
worth drinking under three times the amount. At eight o'clock 
came tea, with light foods supposed to tickle satisfied appetites. 
Perhaps at half-past ten, before retiring, just to keep the hand in, 
some of us would do our duty by a biscuit and cheese and a small 
bottle of Guinness. 

Put down in black and white, this does seem a gross record But 
there was nothing else to do, and it would be ill-natured to suppose 
that it signifies anything further than opportunity given and taken for 
lingering together in pleasant converse over a brightly-decorated 
table. The only grumbling I heard during the whole voyage was as 
to the time at which meab were fixed. The general opinion was that 
nine o'clock was too late for breakfast, and that luncheon and dinner 
followed too quickly on its heels. The dinner, moreover, generally 
interfered with a view of the sunset The first saloon naturally was 
better provided with ice, dessert, and entries than the second, and 
the second fared more sumptuously than the third, but the victualling 
throughout was beyond complaint 

The amusements on board vessels from Australia are never so 
energetically conducted as on out-going ships. The vast difference 

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Ocean Travelling. 297 

in the classes of passengers easily accounts for this. Before the 
Australian-bound steamer is a fortnight out, regular sports and enter- 
tainments will be organised, and a weekly journal in circulation. A 
goodly proportion of the men will be alive with the hope inspired by 
a new career. They are making a new departure in life, and even 
the young fellow who leaves home under a cloud soon emerges from 
it, shakes himself together, and in the reaction of freedom from the 
withes of trouble becomes a leader of the lively. The spirit of the 
race born and bred in a temperate climate also counts for something. 
The larger proportion of passengers who crowd the ships to 
Australia — even a steamer like the " John Elder" of over 4,000 tons 
is often crowded on the outward voyage — are cutting adrift from old 
ties, and looking to the future with high anticipation. Out of these 
are developed some energy and gaiety. The larger proportion of 
passengers coming from the Antipodes have spent long years, maybe, 
in the country, and are not so easily roused to action ; or they have 
perchance lost interest in the active amusements of their youth, and 
confine their attention to the sedentary attractions of the whist- table 
or chess-board. But there is always card-playing, mostly of the 
" Nap " order, and it was said that a power of money changed hands 
in the smoking saloon. 

Nevertheless, we were not altogether bankrupt in amusements. 
A committee of the moving spirits of the first and second saloons 
was formed, and sports peculiar to shipboard were carried out by 
orthodox programme. Three concerts were given, with supple- 
mentary dances, the piano being brought from the saloon to the 
quarter-deck for the purpose ; but we were not greatly gifted with 
enterprise, or, with the talent available, thirteen might as easily have 
been held as three. These things require organising, and organising 
was our weak point We loved the precious indolence of the life we 
were leading too well to take trouble in the matter. This was 
unfortunate, for there were ladies who sang charmingly and willingly, 
and gentlemen able to sing or recite to the end of the chapter. 

It is worthy of consideration whether an effort might not be made 
to assist passengers in this respect The numbers of people now 
travelling to distant parts in these floating hotels are enormous. 
Between England and Australia they increase every year. It is 
found that the voyage home is a really economical method of 
obtaining rest and change, and rich Australians up country are 
getting more and more into the habit of " taking a trip " to England, 
instead of spending their holidays in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, 
or Adelaide, as they used to do. The tour of the colonies is also 

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298 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

becoming the fashion amongst English, Germans, and French, and it 
is no uncommon thing to find elderly ladies and gentlemen "doing" 
Australia with no more ado than they were wont to make over the 
Highlands. It is a very delightful way of spending six months to 
take one of the new Queensland mail steamers to Singapore, and so 
through the Straits of Malacca, calling at Ceylon and Java, and 
travelling down the Australian coast, crossing to New Zealand or Tas- 
mania, and returning either by the Orient or Peninsular and Oriental 
ships ; or the San Francisco route, which throws in a seven days' rail- 
way journey to New York and a taste of the Atlantic as a finish. 

What Captain Galton has done for landsmen in his "Art of 
Travel " might, I believe, be done for ocean travellers with advantage 
to the compiler and benefit to the reader. This handy-book should 
contain track-charts of all the well-known ocean routes, with a text 
of accurately summarised descriptions. Advice by a practical man 
as to what preparations are required, and how to meet emergencies, 
would be at least studied, and if taken, might be the means of saving 
life. In the "John Elder " there were hung up in various parts of the 
ship printed directions, allotting to the officers and crew their specific 
duties • in case of fire or other accident. Recommendations might, 
with equal force, be given to passengers with the view of preventing 
panic, which is generally the most fatal feature of a disaster at sea. Half- 
a-dozen simple, suitable, but short plays or dialogues, by which three 
or four characters might give a performance with such properties as 
a ship could furnish without trouble, would be a boon to entertain- 
ment committees. This voyager's friend might also present a collec- 
tion of readable fragments from authors who have written about the 
sea, and furnish a score or a dozen skeleton programmes of entertain- 
ments. Half-a-dozen brace of sermons for Sunday reading, and a 
form of service in which all denominations could join, would not be 
out of place as an appendix. All these things should smell of the 
ship and the sea. 

Our Sunday services were always well attended, though the third- 
class passengers did not cordially respond to the invitations addressed 
to the entire ship. There was a clergyman— a real " good-fellow " 
clergyman— on board who, by his genial interest in the secular 
business of the week, became a general favourite ; it was soon 
found that he could preach a short, sensible sermon, beat the cham- 
pion at chess, and make an uncommonly good score at the shuffle- 
board. A young lady was appointed pianiste, practices were fixed 
for Friday mornings, and the services alternated between the first 
and second saloons. The first saloon being long and narrow, with 

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Ocean Travelling. 299 

a couple of pillars in the centre, was bad for hearing, especially any- 
where near the screw; and when in the warm weather the service was 
held on deck, the voices of the choir were heavily discounted. I 
fancy we acquitted ourselves creditably with the hymns, but our 
chanting was destitute of hinges and joints. 

Once or twice the service in the second saloon was spoiled by 
some of the steerage men on deck, who sang music-hall songs out of 
season. They had an amateur preacher of their own. This gentle- 
man was very fluent, and had a habit of extemporising a prayer- 
meeting near the sheep-pens, or wherever he could pounce unawares 
upon a group. In this quarter of the vessel the slaying of a sheep, 
pig, or bullock always drew a large and appreciative audience. I 
strolled to the outskirts of the crowd one evening, and was struck 
with the eager eyes fixed with one consent upon the butcher and his 
victim. The spectators were absorbed in tragic thought; silent, 
grave, rapt The expiring sheep had just performed its last gurgle 
when, in the rear, a deep unctuous voice broke the spell with the 
command : " My friends, let us per-ray." A few men resented this 
taking of a mean advantage, and went away, certainly not praying ; 
but the congregation remaining numbered about a hundred, and they 
were apparently quite devout. 

During our fortnight in the Indian Ocean a melancholy accident 
happened. We lost one of our companions. The presumption was 
that he fell overboard during the night. No occurrence could be 
more distressing. He was a quiet, accomplished gentleman, who 
had been in the Civil Service at home, and in the prime of life was 
enjoying his pension. On the evening of his disappearance he had 
talked a good deal to me of two old office companions who are now 
well known as poets, and had promised to lend me " Puck on 
Pegasus " on the morrow. The night was warm, and our fellow- 
passenger remained on deck after everybody had retired. The 
quarter-master going on his round at midnight noticed him still sit- 
ting in his deck chair. Next morning we met in the barber's shop, 
or bath-room alley way, or around the early tea-table, jesting and 
merry as usual. It was nearly breakfast-time, when his cabin mate 
casually remarked : " Have you seen Mr. D. ? He did not turn in 
last night." Nothing wrong for the moment was suspected, but soon 
the inquiry was repeated. We then called to mind the dangerous 
habit Mr. D. had contracted of sitting on the rail, and, fearful of the 
truth, separated to search. Then the captain was informed that he 
was missing, and a systematic and exhaustive exploration led to the 
positive conclusion that he was not in the ship. It was a gloomy 

300 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

day indeed that followed. The uncertainty attaching to the certainty 
was an extra source of pain. The only hope was that death had 
been swift. The ship was high out of water, and if the unfortunate 
gentleman had — dozing, perhaps, in the drowsy tropical air — fallen 
overboard from the position at which all the evidence pointed, the 
boil of the screw would have taken him down perhaps twenty feet 
and silenced him for ever. But it was terrible to think that while we 
were safe and comfortable at breakfast, he might be alone on the 
ocean, drifting in lonely despair, fighting to keep above the surface. 
As the hot sun mounted higher and higher and hope whispered no 
comfort, sick at heart and in an agony awful to contemplate, did he 
wonder what we were saying and doing in the safety and shelter of 
the ship? And there was always uppermost in our minds the 
thought of sharks I The chances of his being picked up were dis- 
cussed in every aspect, and the melancholy opinion was exchanged 
that chances there were none. We were out of the ordinary track 
of ships, and the nearest land would be the Chagos Archipelago, a 
hundred miles to the east. The lost man's effects were by-and-by 
removed into the saloon, catalogued by the purser, and the necessary 
entry was made in the log. 

In the Red Sea another entry of death was written in the log, 
and I had painfully personal reason for remembering it The bar- 
man had often been talked about amongst the passengers as strange 
in his manner. He was a middle-aged man, of classical education, 
but was taciturn, down in the world, and evidently skaken by drink- 
ing. Awaking suddenly in the small hours on a Sunday morning, I 
became conscious of a man kneeling on my cabin floor, and fumbling 
amongst the small portmanteaux and hand-bags under the berth. I 
grasped his sleeve, which was close to my hand, and asked him who 
he was. Addressing me by name he answered, " Pardon me, I 
didn't know where I was," and he trembled violently. " At least, 
let me see who you are," I said, getting out By the moonlight, 
glancing upon him from the open porthole, I recognised the barman. 
" You'll hear all about it," he said, passing his hand over his fore- 
head. " They have turned me out of my cabin. They are in a con- 
spiracy. Sic semper tyrannis" Having recommended him to get to 
bed, I felt it my duty to inform the steward on duty of what had 
happened, and he following, found him foraging in the second 
saloon, amongst the passengers' wine bottles, for liquor. The doctor, 
called up, put the man in hospital. He soon became insensible, and 
at three in the afternoon died 

After evening service on deck, an awestruck crowd surrounded 

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Ocean Travelling. 301 

the opened hatchway on the main deck. Upon a grating, projected 
outwards and downwards, was a something covered with the union 
jack, and that something was the barkeeper, stitched up in canvas, 
with heavy weights at his feet The lanterns dimly lighted the 
solemn faces of the passengers and crew, and gleamed upon the gold 
lace of the captain's uniform, as he stood bare-headed near the 
clergyman, reading the burial service. The engines had reduced 
their speed three-fourths, and the softening revolutions of the screw 
created a sudden silence that heightened the effect of the sadly im- 
pressive scene. At the words of the service committing the body to 
the deep, the grating was tilted, and a shadow glided with gentle 
plunge into the depths. Within three minutes the shrill bell was 
heard in the engine-room, and the heavy thud of the screw was resumed 
at full speed. 

Without other incident, without storm or tempest, without 
passing more than two ships, the "John Elder" arrived at Cape 
Guardafui on the evening of the 10th of March ; the next day we 
entered the narrow mouth separating Perim and Mocha, and were 
in, the Red Sea, upon our next stage to Suez, distant from Aden 
1,310 miles. Fortunate in the comparative coolness of the season, 
the dreaded sea had no horrors for us ; by a continuation of good 
fortune, there was no delay at Suez, and on St Patrick's day we were 
in the Canal. At Port Said there were ample opportunities for 
going ashore, and it was pleasing to notice how much that once un- 
savoury place has improved within five years. There is room for 
cleansing still, but ruffianism has been lopped down to reasonable 
proportions, the houses have been made respectable and brighter, 
and the Khedive's soldiers are only a little out at elbows, and no 
longer tie their dilapidated boots with tar-twine. Even Arab's town 
had become prosaically respectable by contrast to what it was. 

Fairly out in the Mediterranean, you begin to feel that the voyage 
is virtually broken. Its monotony is gone. A brisk wind tumbled 
up the sea for a day or two, and empty places once again appeared. 
On the 20th of March we were running under Crete. On the 21st 
the Straits of Messina gave us a lovely daybreak view of slumbering 
Reggio on the Italian beach, and on the left the bolder landscapes 
of Sicily. Stromboli looked patronisingly upon our decks. Far into 
the night of the 22nd the anchor dropped in the Bay of Naples, at 
which, brilliant with lamps, we looked with longing eyes. There 
was no opportunity of landing, but we were boarded by noisy vendors 
of knicknacks and fruit, saw the bay outlined by a far-reaching 
semicircle of lights, and if we did not behold Vesuvius hiniself, the 

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302 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

intermittent glow of his pipe-bowl, reflected ruddily on the sky, 
indicated his whereabouts. At Naples we had from Port Said 
marked off another 1,112 miles. Next came the interesting 2,009 
miles from Naples to Plymouth. Running past the southern end of 
Sardinia, the fine breezy weather enabled us to view with extra- 
ordinary clearness the historical points of Spain and Portugal, 
Gibraltar, Tarifa, Trafalgar, St. Vincent, Cintra and its royal retreat, 
and Finisterre. 

The three troubles dreaded in advance by all homeward-bound 
travellers are, Cape Leuwin on leaving Australia, the Red Sea, and 
the Bay of Biscay. Tradition but too deservedly makes the first 
and last a cauldron of storm, and the second a furnace. In each 
the tradition was to us belied. Some of our people had deserted us 
at Naples to finish the journey overland. But thirty new passengers 
joined the ship to reap the benefit of the seven days' sea trip to 
England. At Plymouth (reached on the 30th of March) there is 
always a considerable exodus of all classes of passengers, bound for 
Ireland, Scotland, or the country districts of England. The easterly 
gale in the Channel was rude and piercing, but it taught us the 
sterling qualities of the splendid ship, which ploughed with dignified 
steadiness through the short, sharp seas, into which smaller vessels 
pitched vigorously; and it brought out with a distinctness rarely 
experienced the features of the English coast Some amongst us 
had often sailed up and down the Channel in divers craft, but none 
had ever seen the objects so sharply outlined, or the shore itself 
brought so near. Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Folkestone, and 
Ramsgate followed in succession, with bold sunlit feces ; and on 
the 1st of April a delightful trip was brought to an end in the Albert 
Docks, with thanks carried nan. con. to Captain Groves and his 
officers, and regrets on the part of one individual, if not more, that 
the quarters in the floating hotel to which, in this splendid run of 
forty-one days, from Adelaide, he had become accustomed, had to 
be vacated 


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THE publication of the volume "called " The Heptalogia " has 
probably turned the minds of many, either for the first time 
or anew, to the subject of parody in general and of English parody in 
particular. It is not often that a volume is devoted wholly to this 
sort of work. We have had plenty of parody in England of recent 
years, but it has been generally of the fugitive kind ; I am not 
aware, indeed, of any other book thus entirely occupied since the 
issue of the familiar and time-honoured " Rejected Addresses." 
And, in truth, performances of this description are by no means 
certain of a unanimously favourable reception. Parody has 
flourished and still flourishes among us, but it is not universally 
approved. There is a notion entertained by the more serious 
to the effect that parody is rather an irreverent thing. It holds 
for them the same position towards poetry as scoffing towards 
religion. It is destructive, they tell us, of all the " finer feelings " of 
our nature. It " holds nothing sacred." The sublimest sentiments, 
the loftiest imagination, are not beyond the reach of its ravages. Its 
amusing character is not denied. It is admitted that it is unques- 
tionably entertaining. But that is just the danger. It is like the 
humorous application of a quotation from the Bible — irresistible, 
possibly, at the time, but nevertheless much to be deplored. It is a 
faculty, we are told, which cannot be exercised without detriment to 
the subject treated And I suppose it cannot be ignored that parody 
certainly has the tendency to " take the bloom " off" matters which to 
many minds are peculiarly dear. It has been destructive of numerous 
illusions, especially in the world of sentiment and imagination. There 
are certain moods of mind and feeling which parody has rendered, if 
not impossible, at least difficult Nay, we may go even further, and 
say that there are certain things with which parody has no business 
to interfere — a certain line over which it ought not to adventure. 
It must be allowed that there is a limit which good taste will not 
permit even .parody to pass. Such parodies, for example, as the 
"Chaldee MS." are distinctly to be deprecated. The Bible is a 
book which, if only out of mere consideration for one's neighbour — 

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304 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

mere respect for the most cherished affections of the overwhelming 
majority — ought to be kept absolutely free from all vestige of 
travestie. In the same way, there are passages in our poetry — such 
as, say, the loftier parts of Mr. Tennyson's "In Memoriam" — the 
burlesque of which would be unanimously resented even by those 
who have the keenest sense of humour. In a word, parody is not a 
faculty of which the range is unrestricted. There are some matters 
which must be kept inviolate even from the brightest and a ; riest of 

At the same time, it is quite possible to over-estimate "the effects of 
parody. They are neither so numerous nor so deadly as the super- 
serious suppose. They exist, but not in especially great force. 
Indeed, it will be found, if the subject be studied for a moment, 
that they are more or less confined to two directions. If parody 
does damage, it is, as a rule, in the regions of the exaggerated and 
the trite. These are the two evils against which it wages the 
fiercest and most successful war. If a thing has become distressingly 
familiar, parody is fain to give it the quietus. In this respect, at any 
rate, it is true that familiarity breeds contempt There is a limit 
even to human endurance; and, one fine day, when the world has 
been roused to positive exasperation, a skilful parodist arises who 
rids the community of its enemy, and, by so doing, earns, I think, 
a grateful acknowledgment of the benefaction. The thing is not 
worth indignation, possibly ; it is of no use getting angry with a bore. 
But parody supplies just the castigation necessary. It pours out 
ridicule on the offensive piece of work, and all is over. It is killed 
with a smile ; it is laughed out of existence. And so with things 
which irritate by reason of their exaggeration in the matter of 
sentiment or of style. Here, too, is a region in which parody is 
unquestionably destructive, and therefore unquestionably useful. It 
is not with the truly passionate or the truly imaginative that parody 
deals. With them it is powerless, or rather, would be, if it tried to 
deal with them. But it does not It is only when passion becomes 
maudlin, and when imagination lapses into the grotesque, that parody 
acquires its force and its effectiveness. It then answers to an obvious 
tendency in human nature — the tendency to take the one step which 
separates the sublime from the ridiculous. We all know how nearly 
allied are tears to laughter — how apt they are to mingle in cases of 
excessive and overstrained emotion. And so with literature. The 
human mind can stand a good deal in the way of the sublime, but 
let a certain point be touched, and the reaction is instantaneous and 
tmplete. Up to a certain level we can follow the impulsive poet, 

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The Poetry of Parody. 305 

but if he goes too far we fall back, with a sense of exquisite relief, 
upon the man who offers us the rcdudio ad absurdum. It is in this 
way that we are kept out of the extravagance of thought and feeling 
into which some of our " singing singers " would fain lure us. Just 
when they are taking us beyond the line, the ready parodist steps in ; 
and, for my part, I think he deserves our thanks for bringing us 
down to the light of common day, and saving us from that striking 
of the stars which may be left to the professionally poetic 

It is not sufficient, however, that the parodist should be confined 
to a certain range of subjects. Something more than that is necessary 
for successful parody. The matter is so far open to the parodist that 
he may devote himself indifferently to burlesque of style or to 
burlesque of sentiment He may also give us either a tiavestie of an 
author's general manner or a travestie of some special poem or 
passage. These are points concerning which he may consult his 
pleasure. But, these points once settled, there are at least three 
requirements necessitated by the standard of perfection. To begin 
with, it is of the essence of acceptable parody that it should be brief. 
There are a few instances, no doubt, of parody at once sustained and 
successful — instances which will occur to every reader. But these 
have been manifestly exceptional. They have been the work of 
genius, and, moreover, they have generally been in prose, which 
admits of variety of treatment But in verse, the parodist who works 
for perfection and acceptability must display the virtue of com- 
pression. Bret Harte, we know, entitles his parodies of fiction 
" Condensed Novels," and in his " Lothaw " has hit off the peculiarities 
of" Lothair " in the space of half a dozen tiny chapters. And he has 
been all the more successful for his brevity. It is of the nature of 
good and effective burlesque that it should hit hard and instantly. 
It is one of those things which are spoiled irretrievably if carried 
beyond a certain limitation. Travestie is not a food on which the 
mind cares long to feed. It is one of the condiments or delicacies 
of the intellectual table, not one of the substantial joints. And so, we 
say, the most memorable and permanent of poetic parodies are those 
which are, like the proverbial donkey's gallop, short and sweet It 
should be the aim of the parodist to create his effects in the smallest 
possible space; the smaller the space in which he performs the feat, 
the more worthy is that feat of commendation. 

Again : a parody should not be too close an imitation of its 
" great originaL" Of course, in a parody of style, the burlesque is 
necessarily of a vague and general character. The object of the 
writer is not to recall special passages or poems, but to give a general 

VOL. OCLZ. HO. 1809. X 

£06 The Gentlemaiis Magazine. 

impression of an habitual manner. In that case, there is no fear of, 
as there is no occasion for, his reproducing too slavishly particular 
phrases or expressions. But in burlesquing individual poetic efforts, 
there is always the temptation to follow the author's words too 
minutely, and that is a temptation which the parodist must be 
careful to resist What is wanted in such a case is a mere subtle 
suggestion of the piece travestied. Words and phrases, turns of 
style, may be utilized, but they must be utilized with skill, so as 
just to call up the recollection of the original, and no more. They 
must be like Sydney Smith's famous " onion-atoms " ; they must, 
" scarce suspected, animate the whole." What is to be desired is, 
that reminiscences of the model should mingle with the work 
which has been formed upon it ; the pathos, possibly, of the one 
being made to heighten the humour of the other. And that brings 
us to the third of the requirements named. It is not sufficient, I 
think, that a parody should be a parody, and nothing else. It 
may have in that form a certain measure of impressiveness, and 
deserve success ; but it is hardly calculated to rank among the 
most acceptable of its kind. To be thoroughly acceptable, I should 
say, a parody should have an intrinsic humorousness of its own. 
It should have a comical idea at root, and that idea should be 
worked out simultaneously with the burlesque of the original poem. 
There are parodies in the language, excellent as such — excellent as 
ingeniously suggestive of their prototypes — which are nevertheless 
not permanently satisfying, for the reason that they are only parodies 
in form, and have no claim to attention or to admiration in the matter 
of which they are composed. In a word — to sum up the qualities 
without which a parody cannot wholly be accepted — it should be at 
at once brief, suggestive rather than slavish, and inspired by a motif 
of unquestionable ludicrousness. When it has all these characteristics 
its position in literature is assured. 

In the following pages I do not propose to enter into the early 
history of poetic parody, or to touch upon any of the foreign forms of 
it I shall confine myself wholly to the poetic parody which has 
been written in English, and even on that subject I shall of necessity 
leave much unsaid. The field is, indeed, too wide to be completely 
covered in the space of a magazine article, and I shall be unable to 
do more than refer to a few of the more salient characteristics of this 
kind of verse. 

I have said that the parodist may devote himself to the travestie 
of style in general, or of poems and passages in particular. In 
either case, he will naturally fix upon those instances in which the 

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The Poetry of Parody. 307 

style is most pronounced or the poems are most individual in 
character. And in that way it will be found that, as a rule, it is only 
the most famous poets or the most familiar poems which are laid 
under contribution. These have risen to celebrity by reason of their 
very uniqueness, and it is on that uniqueness that the parodist has 
instinctively fastened. What he requires to work on is something 
clear and unmistakable ; and this he is able to find only in those poets 
and that poetry whose style and form are so distinctive as to be readily 
detected. It is of no use for the parodist to devote his powers to 
the originals known only to himself or to a few ; he must take his 
materials from the poetry which is best known to the public. Con- 
sequently, we find that among the poets who are the favourite subjects 
of parody are such as Spenser, with his quaint archaism of phrase 
and peculiarity of stanza; Milton, with his imperial blank verse, 
moving along stately like a goddess ; Walton, with his queer sim- 
plicity of style ; Thomson, with his somewhat prosaic verse ; Pope, 
with his sometimes too well-balanced periods; Swift, with his 
familiar octosyllabic jingle ; Gray and Mason, with their devotion to 
the ode ; Byron, with his grandiose " Childe Harold " manner and 
his airy misanthropic tones ; Moore, with his everlasting prate of 
" wine and women " ; Crabbe, with his mode of paint- 
ing; Wordsworth, with his occasional lapse into the inane ; Macaulay, 
with the regular rumble of his rhetoric ; Poe, with his mechanical 
management of metre ; and, in our own day, Messrs. Tennyson and 
Browning, in all their respective clearness and obscurity of blank 
verse; Mr. Swinburne, with his excessive fondness for alliteration 
and the swing of certain of his metres ; Miss Ingelow, with her 
penchant for the archaic and the monotonous in style and rhyme ; 
and lastly, that school of poets which can only be described as the 
Unintelligible, so impossible is it to attach any definite meaning to 
its utterances. 

One of the best, and one of the least hackneyed, parodies on 
Spenser is to be found among the poems of Bret Harte, under the 
title of " North Reach." The subject is American, but, in spite of 
this, the English reader will detect the comicality of the travestie: — 
Lo ! where the castle of bold Pfeifler throws 
Its sullen shadow on the rolling tide, — 
No more the home where joy and wealth repose, 
But now where wassailers in cells abide ; 
See yon long quay that stretches far and wide, 
Well known to citizens as wharf of Meiggs ; 
There each sweet Sabbath walks in maiden pride 
The pensive Margaret, and brave Pat, whose legs 
Encased in broadclothoft keep time with Peg.^ b Q Q 

308 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Here cometh oft the tender nursery-maid, 
While in her ear her love his tale doth pour ; 
Meantime her infant doth her charge evade 
And rambleth sagely on the sandy shore, 
Till the sly sea-crab, low in ambush laid, 
Seizeth his leg and biteth him full sore. 
Ah me ! what sounds the shuddering echoes bore 
When his small treble mixed with ocean's roar. 

Of Milton, Philips's "Splendid Shilling" still remains the hap-. 

piest burlesque yet written. The well-known opening lines are 

especially well conceived : — 

Happy the man who, void of cares and strife, 
In silken or in leathern purse retains 
A Splendid Shilling. He nor hears with pain 
New oysters cried, nor sighs for cheerful ale J 
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise, 
To Juniper's Magpie or Town Hall repairs ; 
Where, mindful of the nymph whose wanton eye 
Transfixed his soul and kindled amorous flames, 
Chloe or Phillis, he each circling glass 
Wisheth her health and joy and equal love. 
Meanwhile he smokes, and laughs at merry tale, 
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint. 

Here, too, is a pleasant passage :— 

I labour with eternal drought, 
And restless wish and crave ; my parched throat 
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose. 
But, if a slumber haply does invade 
My weary limbs, my fancy's still awake, 
Thoughtful of drink, and, eager in a dream. 
Tipples imaginary pots of ale. 

It is worth remembering that Philips was himself the subject of 
a parody by Bramston, the author of "The Man of Taste. n 

For a skit on Walton's exaggerated simpleness, we must go to 
Wolcot (Peter Pindar), who includes in his miscellaneous pieces a 

few lines like these : — 

harmless tenant of the floode, x 

1 do not wish to spill thy bloode, 
For Nature unto thee 

Perchance hath given a tender wife, 
And children dear, to charm thy life, 
As she hath done for me ! 

Enjoy thy stream, O harmless fish ! 
And, when an angler for his dish, 

Through gluttony's vile sin, 
Attempts, a wretch, to pull thee out, 
God give thee strength, O gentle trout, 

To pull the raskall in ! 

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The Poetry of Parody. 309 

Thomson was made the subject of a parody in Isaac Hawkins 
Browne's "Pipe of Tobacco" — one of the very few publications 
wholly given up to entertaining imitations. Thus we read, apropos of 
" the fragrant weed " : 

O thou, matured by glad Hesperian suns. 
Tobacco, fountain pure of limpid truth, 
That looks the very soul ; whence pouring thought 
Swarms all the mind ; absorpt is yellow care, 
And at each puff imagination burns ; 
Flash on thy bard, and with exalting fires 
Touch the mysterious lip that chants thy praise, 
In strains to mortal sons of earth unknown. 
Behold an engine, wrought from tawny mines 
Of ductile clay, with plastic virtue formed, 
And glazed magnific o'er, I grasp, I fill. 
From Paetotheke with pungent powers perfumed 
Itself one tortoise, all, where shines imbibed 
Each parent ray ; then rudely rammed illume, 
With the red touch of zeal -enkindling sheet, 
Marked by Gibsonian lore ; forth issue clouds, 
Thought- thrilling, thirst-inciting clouds around, 
And many-waning fires : I all the while, 
Lolling at ease, inhale the breezy balm. 

This is not a bad reproduction of Thomson's dull as well as 
stilted lines. Nor is the parody of Pope by the same writer much 
less successful — at least, in the arrangement of the cadences. This 
is likewise on the subject of tobacco: — 

Blest leaf, whose aromatic gales dispense 
To templars, modesty, to parsons, sense : 
So raptured priests, at famed Dodona's shrine, 
Drank inspiration from the stream divine. 
Inspired by thee, dull cits adjust the scale 
Of Europe's peace, when other statesmen fail. 
By thee protected, and thy sister, beer, 
Poets rejoice, nor think the bailiff near. 
What though to love and soft delights a foe, 
By ladies hated, hated by the beau, 
Yet social freedom, long to courts unknown, 
Fair health, fair truth, and virtue are thy own. 
Come to thy poet, come with healing wings, 
And let me taste thee unexcised by kings. 

Swift, again, is parodied by Browne ; but let us take, instead, a 
passage from Goldsmith's " Imitation of Doctor Swift," in which 
the Doctor is supposed to argue the superiority of brutes to men. 
The lines are wholly in Swift's manner : — 

Who ever knew an honest brute 

At law his neighbour prosecute, 

310 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

Bring action for assault and battery, 
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery ? 
O'er plains they ramble unconfined, 
No politics disturb their mind : 
They eat their meals and take their sport, 
Nor know who's in or out at Court ; 
They never to the levee go, 
To treat as dearest friend a foe ; 
They never importune his Grace, 
Nor ever cringe to men in place ; 
Nor undertake a dirty job, 
Nor draw a quill to write for Bob ; 
Fraught with invective they ne'er go 
To folks at Pater-Noster Row ; 
No judges, fiddlers, dancing masters, 
No pickpockets, or poetasters, 
Are known to honest quadrupeds : 
No single brute his fellow leads. 
Brutes never meet in bloody fray, 
Nor cut each other's throats for pay. 
Of beasts, it is confessed, the ape 
Comes nearest us in human shape : 
Like man he imitates each fashion, 
And malice is his ruling passion ; 
But both in malice and grimaces 
A courtier any ape surpasses. 

The odes of Gray and Mason were ridiculed by Lloyd and Colman 
in a volume now but little read. And, sooth to say, the parodies are 
by no means brilliant They caricature the forms of the odes, but 
they are not intrinsically interesting. How dull they are may be 
gathered from this single specimen from the " Ode to Obscurity: " — 

Sacred to thee the Crambo Rhyme, 

The motley forms of Pantomime. 
For thee from eunuch's throat still loves to flow 
The soothing sadness of his warbled woe : 

Each day to thee falls pamphlet clean, 

Each month a new-born magazine. 
Hear, then, O goddess, hear thy vot'ry's prayer ! 
And if thou deignst to take one moment's care, 

Attend thy Bard, who duly pays 

The tribute of his votive lays ; 
Whose Muse still often at thy sacred shrine ; 
Thy Bard, who calls thee his, and makes him thine. 

O sweet Korgetfulness, supreme, 

Rule supine o'er every theme, 
O'er each sad subject, o'er each soothing strain, 
Of mine, O goddess, stretch thy awful reign ! 

Nor let Mem'ry steal one note 

Which this rude hand to thee hath wrote I 

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The Poetry of Parody. 311 

Of Byron, Moore, Crabbe, and Wordsworth, "Rejected Ad- 
dresses," of course, affords sufficiently interesting parodies. Some ot 
the lines on Crabbe are really exquisite. Of his patient and scrupu- 
lous particularity, the following lines, though now familiar, are 
nevertheless so admirably descriptive that I am fain once more to 
reproduce them : — 

John Richard William Alexander Dwyer 

Was footman to Justinian Stubbs, Esquire ; 

But when John Dwyer 'listed in the Blues, 

Emanuel Jennings polished Stubbs's shoes. 

Emanuel Jennings brought his youngest boy 

Up as a corn-cutter— a safe employ ; 

In Holywell Street, St. Pancras, he was bred — 

In number twenty-seven, it is said — 

Facing the pump, and near the Granby's Head. 

He would have bound him to some shop in town, 

But with a premium he could not come down : 

Pat was the urchin's name, a red-haired youth. 

Fonder of purl and skittle-grounds than truth. 

Excellent, too, are such couplets as this one about 
Bucks with pockets empty as their pate, 
Lax in their gaiters, laxer in their gait ; 
and this other — 

Critics we boast who ne'er their malice balk, 

But talk their minds — we wish they'd mind their talk. 

Byron, too, is well illustrated by the Smiths, who not only 
reproduce the familiar " Childe Harold " stanza, but catch happily 
the tone of thought and sentiment : — 

For what is Hamlet, but a hare in March ? 
And what is Brutus, but a croaking owl ? 
And what is Rolla ? Cupid steeped in starch, 

Orlando's helmet in Augustin's cowl. 
Shakespeare, how true thine adage, " fair is foul " ! 

To him whose soul is with fruition fraught, 
The song of Braham is an Irish howl, 

Thinking is but an idle waste of thought, 
And nought is everything, and everything is nought. 

So in " Nightmare Abbey," where, under the name of Cypress, 
Lord Byron is limned by that fantastic fictionist, T. L. Peacock. 
Cypress is there made to sing a song which is admirably suggestive, 
not only of a favourite metre, but of the favourite pessimism, real or 
affected, of the poet This I may venture to quote in full : — 
There is a fever of the spirit, 
The brand of Cain's unresting doom, 
- Which in the lone dark souls that bear it 
Glows like the Jamp in Tullia's tomb ; 

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312 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Unlike that lamp, its subtle fire 
Burns, blasts, consumes its cell, the heart, 

Till, one by one, hope, joy, desire, 
Like dreams of shadowy smoke depart. 

When hope, love, life itself, are only 

Dust — spectral memories— dead and cold— 
The unfed fire burns bright and lonely, 

Like that undying lamp of old \ 
And by that dreary illumination, 

Till time its clay-built house has rent, 
Thought broods on feeling's desolation— 

The soul is its own monument. 

Not less successful than the above is Mr. Calverle/s "Arcades 
Ambo," in which the beadle of Burlington Arcade is addressed in a 
style charmingly reminiscent of " Childe Harold ":— 

Yes, ye are beautiful. The young street boys 

Joy in your beauty. Are ye there to bar 
Their pathway to that paradise of toys, 

Ribbons and rings ? Who'll blame ye if ye are ? 
Surely no shrill and clattering crowd should mar 

The dim aisle's stillness, where in noon's mid-glow 
Trip fair-hair'd girls to boot-shop or bazaar ; 

Where, at soft eve, serenely to and fro 
The sweet boy-graduates walk, nor deem the pastime slow. 

Moore, again, figures in " Rejected Addresses," and there in con- 
nection, too, with a favourite metre and a favourite sentiment:-— 

The apples that grew on the fruit-tree of knowledge 
By woman were pluck'd, and she still wears the prize, 

To tempt us in theatre, senate, or college — 
I mean the love-apples that bloom in the eyes. 

There, too, is the lash which, all statutes controlling, 
Still governs the slaves that are made by the fair ; 

For man is the pupil who, while her eye's rolling, 
Is lifted to rapture or sunk in despair. 

Note, too, " The Bard of Erin's Lament," by Bon Gaultier. This 
might really have been written by the bard himself: — 

Oh weep for the hours when the little blind boy 

Wove round me the spells of his Paphian bower, 
When I dipped my light wings in the nectar of joy, 

And soared in the sunshine, the moth of the hour ! 
From beauty to beauty I passed, like the wind ; 

Now fondling the lily, now toying with the rose ; 
And the fair, that at morn had enchanted my mind, 

Was forsook for another ere evening's close, 

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r The Poetry of Parody. 313 

How Wordsworth is mimicked in the " Addresses " is well- 
known — " The Baby's Ddbut " being too familiar to need quotation. 
The skit by Miss C. M. Fanshawe is not, however, quite so hack- 
neyed — though, as a parody of style, it is certainly not less effective 
on the whole, perhaps, it is the more faithful of the two : — 

There is a river clear and fair, 

Tis neither broad nor narrow ; 
It winds a little here and there — 
It winds about like any hare ; 
And then it takes as straight a course 
As on the turnpike road a horse, 

Or through the air an arrow. 

The trees that grow upon the shore 
Have grown a hundred years or more ; 

So long, there is no knowing. 
Old Daniel Dodson does not know 
When first those trees began to grow ; 
But still they grew, and grew, and grew, 
As if they'd nothing else to do, 

But ever must be growing. 

And so oa Of Macaulay, the best travestie in the way of style is 
probably that which Bon Gaultier supplied in "The Laureate's 
Journey," in two " fyttes " of verses like the following :— 

11 He's dead, he's dead, the Laureate's dead " ! Thus, thus the cry began, 
And straightway every garret roof gave up its minstrel man ; 
From Grub Street, and from Houndsditch, and from Farringdon Within, 
The poets all towards Whitehall poured in with eldritch din. 

Loud yelled they for Sir James the Graham : but sore afraid was he ; 
A hardy knight were he that might face such a ininstrelsie. 
*• Now by St Giles of Netherby, my patron saint, I swear, 
I'd rather by a thousand crowns Lord Palmerston were here ! " 

Poe's trick of repetition in his phrases has, so far as I am aware, 
only had justice done to it by Bret Harte, whose " poem" of " The 
Willows" is certainly irresistibly funny, if hardly in the tone of good 

society : — 

But Mary, uplifting her finger, 

Said, " Sadly this bar I mistrust, — 

I fear that this bar does not trust. 
Oh, hasten — oh, let us not linger — 

Oh, fly— let us fly— ere we must ! " 
In terror she cried, letting sink her 

Parasol till it trailed in the dust, — 
In agony sobbed, letting sink her 

Parasol till it trailed in the dust, — 

TUHtsorrowMy trailed the dust. 

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Then I pacified Mary and kissed her, 

And tempted her into the room, 

And conquered her scruples and gloom ; 
And we passed to the end of the vista, 

But were stopped by the warning of doom, — 

By some words that were warning of doom. 
And I said, "What is written, sweet sister, 

At the opposite end of the room ? " 
She sobbed as she answered, " All liquors 

Must be paid for ere leaving the room." 

Tennysonian blank verse was early burlesqued in the " Bon Gaultier 
Ballads/ 1 but on the whole, I doubt if it has been more successfully 
travestied than by Shirley Brooks in " The Very Last Idyll," which he 
contributed to an issue of " Punch's Pocket Book." The conclud- 
ing lines of this have always struck me as particularly good: — 
And the blameless king, 

Rising again (to Lancelot's discontent, 

Who held all speeches a tremendous bore), 

Said, " If one duty to be done remains, 

And 'tis neglected, all the rest is nought 

But Dead Sea apples and the acts of Apes." 
Smiled Guinevere, and begged him not to preach ; 

She knew that duty, and it should be done : 

So what of pudding on that festal night 

Was not consumed by Arthur and his guests, 

The queen, upon the following morning, fried. 

The equally characteristic blank verse of Mr. Browning has 
assuredly never been more happily ridiculed than by Mr. Calverley 
in his inimitable lines called "The Cock and the Bull*: — 

The boy he chuck'd a brown i f the air, and bit 

I' the face the shilling : heaved a thumping stone 

At a lean hen that ran cluck-clucking by 

(And hit her, dead as nail i' post o' door), 

Then almt— what's the Ciceronian phrase ?— 

Excessit, evasit, crupit — off slogs boy ; 

Off like bird, avi similis — (you observed 

The dative? Pretty i' the Mantuan !) — Angltce, 

Off in three flea-skips. Hactenus, so far, 

So good, tarn bent* Bene, satis, male, — 

Where was I with my trope, 'bout one in a quag T 

I once did twitch the syntax into verse : 

Verbum personale, a verb personal, 

Concordat, ay, "agrees," old Fatchaps — cum 

Nominativo, with its nominative, 

Genere, i' point o' gender, numero, 

O* number et persona, and person. Ut, 

Instance : Sol ruit, down flops sun, et, and, 

Monies umbrantur, out flounce mountains. Pah ! 

Excuse me, sir, J think I'm going mad. 

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Swinburnian parody turns very much upon the poet's metrical 
fashions and upon his alliterative passages. Here, for example, is 
Mortimer Collins's quizzical reproduction of a truly Swinburnian 
metre: — 

Take endive — like love, it is bitter ; 

Take beet -for, like love, it is red ; 
Crisp leaf of the lettuce shaU glitter, 
And cress from the rivulet's bed ; 
Anchovies, foam-born, like the lady 

Whose beauty has maddened this bard ; 
And olives, from groves that are shady ; 
And eggs— boU 'em hard. 

Here, again, is Lewis Carroll's adaptation of a metre no less Swin- 
burnian: — 

And I whispered, " I guess 

The sweet secret thou keepest, 
And the dainty distress 
That thou wistfully weepest ; 
And the question is, ' Licence or banns ?' though undoubtedly banns are the 

Then her white hand I clasped, 
And with kisses I crowned it, 
But she glared and she gasped, 

And she muttered, " Confound it ! " 
Or at least it was something like that, but the noise of the omnibus drowned it. 

For alliteration in extremis commend us to this verse of an address 
to proctors in the Oxford " Shotover Papers ": — 

O Vestment of velvet and virtue, 

O venomous victors of vice, 
Who hurt men who never have hurt you, 

Oh, calm, cruel, colder than ice : 
Why wilfully wage ye this war ? Is 

Pure pity purged out of your breast ? 
O purse-prigging Procurators, 

O pitiless pest ! 

This, too, from an old number of Once a Week, is not so bad : — 

If it be but a dream or a vision, 

The life that is after the grave, 
The wail of the metaphysician 

Is vain — but an answer I crave ; 
Amid bright intellectual flambeaux 

I shall find no light clearer than thee, 
O sable and sensual Sambo, 

The servant of me ! 

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316 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

For a sufficient exposi of the faults of Miss Ingelow's poetic style, 
we have to go again to Mr. Calverley, who has effected this purpose 
in one of the most successful of his pieces : — 

In moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter 
(And heaven it knoweth what that may mean ; 

Meaning, however, is no great matter), 
Where woods are atremble, with rifts atween ; 

Through God's own heather we wonn'd together, 

I and my Willie (O love, my love) : 
I need hardly remark it was glorious weather, 

And flitterbats waver'd alow, above : 

Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing 

(Boats in that climate are so polite), 
And sands were a ribbon of green endowing, 

And O the sundazzle on bark and bight ! 

Through the rare red heather we danced together 
(Oh love, my Willie ! ) and smelt for flowers : 

I must mention again it was gorgeous weather, 
Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours. 

Parodies on the unintelligible poets have been tolerably numerous, 
and it is difficult, in regard to them, to know where to begin and 
where to end. Keeping, however, to comparatively modern times, 
we have the jeux d' esprit suggested by the production of the Laura 
Matilda school, and the more recent ones induced by the efforts of 
nineteenth-century writers. And of the former I do not know that 
there could be a more satisfactory specimen than that which is to be 
found in " Rejected Addresses," from the pen of Horace Smith : — 

Hark ! what soft Eolian numbers 

Germ the blushes of the morn ! 
Break, Amphion, break your slumbers, 

Nature's ringlets deck the thorn. 

Ha ! I hear the strains erratic 

Dimly glance from pole to pole : 
Raptures sweet and dreams ecstatic 

Fire my everlasting soul. 

Where is Cupid's crimson motion ? 

Billowy ecstasy of woe, 
Lead me straight, meandering ocean, 

Where the stagnant torrents flow. 

Of the latter, Mr. Carroll's " Jabberwocky " is unquestionably the 
most felicitous example, though it is certainly run close by Mr. W. S. 
Gilbert's little known but very admirable lines, " Sing for the garish 
eye." Says Mr, Carroll;—* 

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The Potiry of Parody, 317 

Twas brillig, and the slithy tores 

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe ; 
All mimsy were the borogroves, 

And the mome raths outgrabe. 

He has also introduced us to such clear and simple words as " fru- 
mious, ,, "vorpal," "manxome," "uffish," "tulgey," " galumphing," 
11 frabjous," " beamish," and " chortled." But Mr. Gilbert is not far 
behind. List to his light-hearted lay !— » 

Sing for the garish eyej 

When moonless brandlings cling ! 
Let the doddering crooner cry, 

And the traddled sapster sing ; 
For never, and never again, 

Will the tottering beechlings play, 
For bratticed wrackers are singing aloud, 

And the throngers croon in May 1 

Finally, I turn again to the " Shotover Papers " for a clever skit 
upon a certain school of modern rhymesters :— 

Mingled, aye, with fragrant yearnings, 

Throbbing in the mellow glow, 
Glint the silvery spirit burnings, 

Pearly blandishments of woe. 

Ay ! for ever and for ever, 

While the love-lorn censers sweep ; 
While the jasper winds dissever, 

Amber- like, the crystal deep ; 

Shall the souFs delicious slumber, 

Sea-green vengeance of a kiss, 
Reach despairing crags to number 

Blue infinities of bliss. 

When we come to the parodies inspired by particular poems or 
lyrics, we are conscious of having to do with some of the most 
successful and popular of their kind. Burlesque of style and sentiment 
requires some insight and culture for its quick detection ; but any- 
one who has any sense of humour at all can recognise a good 
travestie of a favourite piece of verse. And parodists, by way. of 
helping them to such a recognition, have been careful, for the most 
part, to select for treatment pieces and passages which have long 
been familiar to the public. In the case of Shakespeare, there has 
been a run upon the "To be or not to be" soliloquy; in the 
case of Goldsmith, upon the song sung by Olivia in " The Vicar of 
Wakefield ; " in that of Cowper, upon " Alexander Selkirk ; " in that 

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318 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

of Charles Wolfe, upon " The Burial of Sir John Moore ;" in that 01 
Bayly, upon " Oh, no, we never mention him ! n and u I'd be a 
butterfly ; " in that of Moore, upon " Twas ever thus ; " in that of 
Southey, upon his " Sapphics," his " Father William," and his " How 
the Waters came down at Lodore ; " in that of Wordsworth, upon his 
" We are Seven ;" in that of Scott, upon his " Marmion ; " in that 
of Lord Lytton, upon his " Lost Tales of Miletus ; n in that of 
Tennyson, upon his " Brook," his " Home they brought," his 
" Locksley Hall," his " Break, break, break," and so on ; in that of 
Poe, upon his "Raven;" and in that of Longfellow, upon his 
M Excelsior." These, one may say, were poems and passages which 
absolutely invited parody, and the ridicule of which was irresistible — 
either, as I have said, because of their over-triteness or because of 
their exaltation of sentiment. Certainly it will be- seen that, if these 
are the most widely received among parodies, they are also among 
the most " consummate." The parodist works always most success- 
fully on familiar ground, for there he is quite sure of his audience, 
and is certain that his humorous perversion will be appreciated. 
There are some poems and passages which we are ready at any 
moment to find reduced to absurdity. They have either become 
too much of a household word among us, or else they tend them* 
selves to laughter by reason of the too lofty tone in which they have 
been pitched. 

Among the former class is the Hamletian soliloquy above 
referred to. This has been parodied times without number. There is 
a snatch of it, for example, and a very amusing snatch withal, in Mr. 
Burnand's " Happy Thoughts ; " but among recent irreverent jokers at 
its expense, Mr. William Sawyer may perhaps be accounted the most 
happy. He adapts it to the subject of cremation, and remarks : — 

To Urn, or not to Urn ? That is the question : 

Whether 'tis better in our frames to suffer 

The shows and follies of outrageous custom, 

Or to take fire against a sea of zealots, 

And, by consuming, end them? To Urn— to keep — 

No more : and while we keep, to say we end 

Contagion, and the thousand graveyard ills 

That flesh is heir to — 'tis a consume-alion 

Devoutly to be wished I To burn— to keep— 

To keep 1 Perchance to lose— ay, there's the rub ! 

For in the course of things what duns may come, 

Or who may shuffle off our Dresden urn, 

Must give us pause. There's the respect 

That makes inter-i-ment of so long use ; 

For who would have the pall and plumes of hire, 

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The Poetry of Parody. 319 

The tradesman's prize— a proud man's obsequies, 

The chaffering for graves, the legal fee, 

The cemetery beadle, and the rest, 

When he himself might his few ashes make 

With a mere furnace ? Who would tombstones bear, 

And lie beneath a lying epitaph, 

But that the dread of simmering after death — 

That uncongenial furnace from whose burn 

No incremate returns — weakens the will, 

And makes us rather bear the graves we have 

Than fly to ovens that we know not of ? 

Of Goldsmith's " When lovely woman stoops to folly," we know 
no better redudio than the following by Shirley Brooks : — 

When lovely woman, lump of folly, 

Would show the world her vainest trait, — 

Would treat herself as child her dolly, 
And warn each man of sense away,— 

The surest method she'll discover 

To prompt a wink in every eye, 
Degrade a spouse, disgust a lover, 

And spoil a scalp-skin is — to dye 1 

Cowper's " Alexander Selkirk" has not found any specially good 
parodist, for the imitations have generally been by far too occasional 
in kind. This, indeed, is the chief fault of R. H. Barham's version, 
which has otherwise some humour, being supposed to be spoken 
by Alexander " Kitchener " on the desolate island of " Porridge, in 
St. Martin's in the Fields " :— 

I am partial to table and tray ; 

My taste there is none to dispute ; 
Ragotit y fricandcaui entremct, 

I'm a judge offish, flesh, fowl, and fruit. 
Oh, Wilberforce ! where is the charm 

You and Butterworth find in a grace ? 
Unless I've my turbot quite warm, 

Better dine on a horrible plaice ! 

It so happens that Barham is the author of what may be 
described as, on the whole, the best parody in the language — namely, 
that on " The Burial of Sir John Moore." This, included in some 
editions of the " Ingoldsby Legends," has recently been included in 
the " Ingoldsby Lyrics," and so is likely to have a renewed lease of 
popularity. Some passages are quite inimitable, as thus : — 

"The Doctor's as drunk as the D ," we said, 

And we managed a shutter to borrow ; 
We raised him, and sigh'd at the thought that his head 

Would consumedly ache on the morrow. 

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We bore him home and we put him to bedj 
And we told his wife and his daughter 

To give him next morning a couple of red- 
Herrings with soda-water. 

Loudly they talk'd of his money that's gone, 

And his lady began to upbraid him ; 
But little he reck'd, so they let him snore on, 

'Neath the counterpane, just as we laid him. 

Slowly and sadly we all walked down 

From his room in the uppermost story j 
A rushlight we placed on the cold hearth-stone. 

And we left him alone in his glory. 

This has the best qualities of parody, for it is at once admirably 
suggestive of the original and yet admirably humorous in itself. 
Barham has also left a clever parody on " Oh no, we never mention 
him," suggested by the failure of Bayly's farce, " Decorum." This 

begins : — 

no 1 we'll never mention him ; 
We won't, upon our word I 

" Decorum" now forbids to name 

An unsuccessful bard. 
From Drury Lane well toddle to 

Our office with regret, 
And if they ask us, " Who's been dish'd ?" 

We'll say that " We forget." 

We'll bid him now forsake the "scene," 

And try his ancient strain ; 
He'd better " be a butterfly " 

Than write a farce again. 
Tis true that he can troll a song, 

Or tender chansonette ; 
But if you ask us, " What beside?" 

Why, really, we forget. 

Of" Td be a butterfly," we find a snatch in Mr. G. 0. Trevelyan's 
" Horace at Athens," where a college bedmaker sings to this effect:— 

1 make the butter fly, all in an hour ; 

I put aside the preserves and cold meats, 

Telling my master his cream has turned sour, 

Hiding his pickles, purloining his sweets. 

I never languish for husband or dower \ 

I never sigh to see gyps at my feet ; 
I make the butter fly, all in an hour, 

Taking it home for my Saturday treat. 

Moore's " 'Twas ever thus " has been ingeniously perverted by 
no fewer than three clever writers of our time— to wit^ Mr. H. S. 

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The Poetry 6/ Parody. 321 

Leigh, Mr. C S. Calverley, and Mr. Cholmondeley PennelL If I 
quote the whole of Mr. PennelTs version, it is because it is the shortest, 
and therefore best suited to my purpose : — 

Wus ! ever wus ! By freak of Puck's, 

My most exciting hopes are dashed ; 
I never wore my spotless ducks 

But madly — wildly ! — they were splashed. 

I never roved by Cynthia's beam, 

To gaze upon the starry sky, 
But some old stiff-backed beetle came, 

And charged into my pensive eye. 

And, oh ! I never did the swell 

In Regent Street, among the beaus, 
But smuts the most prodigious fell, 

And always settled on my nose ! 

Mr. Leigh begins : 

I never rear'd a young gazelle 

(Because, you see, I never tried), 
But had it known and loved me well, 

No doubt the creature would have died. 
My sick and aged uncle John 

Has known me long and loves me well, 
But still persists in living on — 

I would he were a young gazelle. 

On the other hand, Mr. Calverley writes : 

'Twas ever thus from childhood's hour 1 

My fondest hopes would not decay j 
I never loved a tree or flower 

Which was the first to fade away ! 
The garden where I used to delve, 

Short -frock'd, still yields me pinks in plenty ; 
The pear-tree that I climbed at twelve 

I still see blossoming at twenty. 

He continues : 

I never nursed a dear gazelle j 

But I was given a parroquet — 
(How I did nurse him if unwell !) 

He's imbecile, but lingers yet. 
He's green, with an enchanting tuft ; 

He melts me with his small black eye ; 
He'd look inimitable stufPd, 

And knows it— but he will not die I 

Canning's trite burlesque of Southey's "Sapphics " need hot here 
be quoted, but I cannot resist the pleasure of reproducing a few verses 
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322 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

from Mr. Carroll's delightful adaptation of " Father William "—cer- 
tainly one of the very best performances of its kind :— 

"You are old, Father William," the young man said, 

" And your hair has become very white ; 
And yet you incessantly stand on your head — 

Do you think, at your age, it is right ? w 
"In my youth," Father William replied to his son, 

41 1 feared it might injure the brain ; 
But now I am perfectly sure I have none— 

Why, I do it again and again 1 " 
" You are old," said the youth, " and your jaws are too weak 

For anything tougher than suet ; 
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak- 
Pray, how do you manage to do it ? " 
" In my youth," said his father, " I took to the law, 

And argued each case with my wife ; 
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw 

Has lasted the rest of my life." 

Mr. Cholmondeley Pennell has also written a very ingenious imita- 
tion of " How the Waters come down at Lodore," on the subject of 
" How the Daughters come down at Dunoon." This may be con- 
sulted in his " Puck on Pegasus." Of Wordsworth's " We are 
Seven," incomparably the best parody is Mr. H. S. Leigh's— unhap- 
pily, too long to quote in full :— 

Said I, " What is it makes you bad ? 

How many apples have you had ?" 

She answered, "Only Seven." 

"And are you sure you took no more, 

My little maid ? " quoth I. 
" Oh, please, sir, mother gave me four, 

But they were in a pie ! " 

11 If that's the case," I stammered out, 

" Of course you've had eleven." 
The maiden answered, with a pout, 

" I ain't had more nor seven ! " 

Of " Marmion," of course, no more successful burlesque has 
been composed than Horace Smith's §l Tale of Drury Lane," with its 
admirable climax : — 

11 Why are you in such doleful dumps ? 

A fireman, and afraid of bumps ! 

What are they feard on ? Fools I *od rot 'em !" 

Were the last words of Higginbottom. 

This will remain unsurpassable for all time. Bret Harte is the writer 
who has been led to cast ridicule on Lord Lytton's rhymeless " Tales 

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The Poetry of Parody. 323 

of Miletus/' which assuredly are specially suggestive of such unkind 
treatment He makes a Greek Bo-peep mourn the loss of her 
charges, and the parody concludes : 

Her then Zeus answered slow, " O daughter of song and sorrow, 
Hapless tender of sheep, — arise from thy long lamentations ! 
Since thou canst trust not fete, nor behave as becomes a Greek maiden, 
Look, and behold thy sheep." And lo ! they returned to her tailless 1 

When Mr. Tennyson is reached, we become somewhat embar- 
rassed by the riches in the way of parody which have accumulated 
round certain of his poems. Of " Home they brought her warrior 
dead," I know at least two perfectly excellent travesties — namely, 
those by Shirley Brooks and Mr. Sawyer— and there may be more. 
Shirley Brooks's may be found in the volume of his collected " Wit 
and Humour." Mr. Sawyer's runs : — 

Home they brought her sailor son, 

Grown a man across the sea, 
Tall and broad and black of beard, 

And hoarse of voice as man may be. 

Hand to shake and mouth to kiss, 

Both he offered ere he spoke ; 
But she said, " What man is this 

Comes to play a sorry joke ?" 

Then they praised him— call'd him " smart," 

"Tightest lad that ever stept ;" 
But her son she did not know, 

And she neither smiled nor wept. 

Rose, a nurse of ninety years, 

Set a pigeon-pie in sight ; 
She saw him eat—" 'Tis he ! 'tis he !"— 

She knew him — by his appetite I 

Of " The Brook" I know only one thoroughly good travestie — that 
by Mr. Calverley, supposed to be uttered by a tinker, and begin- 

I loiter down by thorp and town, 

For any job I'm willing ; 
Take here and there a dusty brown, 
And here and there a shilling. 

This is very remarkable in the felicity with which the words of the 
original are suggested:— 

I've sat, I've sigh'd, I've gloom'd, I've glanced 

With envy at the swallows 
That through the window slid and danced 

(Quite happy) round the gallows ; 
Y 2 


3*4 The Gentleman! s Mag&zitU. 

But out again I come, and show 

My face, nor care a stiver, 
For trades are brisk and trades are slow, 

But mine goes on for ever. 

How admirable, again, is the parody on "The Higher Pantheism ,j 
which we find included in the volume to which we have already 
referred — " The Heptalogia * ! The mock mysticism is delightful : — 

Once the Mastodon was : pterodactyls were common as cocks : 

Then the Mammoth was God : now is he a prize ox. 

Parallels all things are : yet many of these are askew : 

You are certainly I : but certainly I am not you. 

Springs the rock from the plain, shoots the stream from the rock : 

Cocks exist for the hen : but hens exist for the cock. 

God whom we see not is : and God, who is not, we see : 

Fiddle, we know, is diddle : and diddle, we take it, is dee. 

In the " Shotover Papers " will be found parodies of " Break, 
break, break," " Flow down, cold rivulet to the sea," and " The 
Eagle," all from the same clever and ingenious hand. I take, as 
specimen, the second of the three, which, on the whole, is the best: — 

Rise up, cold reverend, to a see ; 

Confound the unbelievers ! 
Yet ne'er 'neath thee my seat shall be 

For ever and for ever. 

Preach, softly preach, in lawn, and be 

A comely model liver, 
But ne'er 'neath thee my seat shall be 

For ever and for ever. 

And here shall sleep thy alderman, 

And here thy pauper shiver, 
And here by thee shall buzz the " she," 

For ever and for ever. 

A thousand men shall sneer at thee, 

A thousand women quiver, 
But ne'er 'neath thee my seat shall be \ 

For ever and for ever. 

Tennysonian parody, however, is an old story now, seeing that some 
of the most successful efforts in that direction are to be read in the 
" Bon Gaultier Ballads." In that still diverting volume will be found 
parodies of " Adeline," "The Merman"— 

Wlo would not be 

The Laureate bold, 
With his butt of sherry 

To keep him merry, 
And nothing to do but pocket his gold ?— 

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The Poetry of Parody, 325 

" The May Queen," and " Locksley HalL" That of " The May 
Queen" is called " The Biter Bit," and thus concludes : 

You may lay me in my bed, mother— my head is throbbing sore ; 
And, mother, prithee let the sheets be duly aired before ; 
Andy if you'd do a kindness to your poor desponding child, 
Draw me a pot of beer, mother— and, mother, draw it mild ! 

In u The Lay of the Love-Lorn, w perhaps the following is one of the 
cleverest passages : — 

Cursed be the Bank of England's notes that tempt the soul to sin 1 

Cursed be the want of acres— doubly cursed the want of tin ! 

Cursed be the marriage contract that enslaved thy soul to greed ! 

Cursed be the sallow lawyer that prepared and drew the deed ! 

Cursed be his foul apprentice who the loathsome fees did earn ! 

Cursed be the clerk and parson— cursed be the whole concern ! 

For an exceptionally excellent parody of Poe's " Raven," the 
reader may be referred to Mr. H. S. Leigh's " Carols of Cockayne"; 
and for one of the most satisfactory of the many burlesques of 
Longfellow's " Excelsior," he may go to the i% Puck on Pegasus" of 
Mr. Cholmondeley Pennell 

Hitherto we have been considering the parodies which have been 
constructed either on the foundation of a poet's general style or on 
the basis of particular specimens of his work. These two classes 
constitute the staple of modern poetical burlesque, but they by no 
means form the whole of it In addition to these, you will find 
parody exercising itself upon various forms of verse and upon 
various descriptions of poetry. Thus Gay furnishes us with a mock 
elegy, amusingly descriptive of a species of poem largely common in 
his day. Cowper presents us with a quaint travestie of the ode as 
generally written in the eighteenth century. Southey favours us with a 
sonnet of an agreeably mock-sentimental character ; and several writers 
parody the exaggerated simplicity of the early, and the monotonous 
refrains of the later, ballads. Gay opens impressively : — 
Stock's fate I mourn ! poor Stock is now no more ! 
Ye muses, mourn ! ye chambermaids, deplore ! 

Southey*s effusion is " To a Goose," and is worth reprinting, seeing 
that the author of " The Curse of Kehama " (amusingly travestied, by 
the way, in the "Addresses") is not usually regarded as a humourist : — 

If thou didst feed on western plains of yore ; 

Or waddle wide with flat and flabby feet 

Over some Cambrian mountain's plashy moor ; 

Or found in farmer's yard a safe retreat 

From gipsy thieves, and foxes sly and fleet ; 

If thy great quills, by lawyer guided, trace 

Deeds big with ruin to some wretched race. 

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326 " The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Or love- sick poet's sonnet, sad and sweet, 
Wailing the rigour of his lady fair ; 
Or if, the drudge of housemaid's daily toil, 
Cobwebs and dust thy pinions white besoil, 
Departed Goose ! I neither know nor care. 
But this I know, that we pronounced thee fine, 
Seasoned with sage and onions, and port wine. 

Cowper's " ode" is much to the same effect as Lloyd and Col- 
man's efforts, but more general in its satire — 
Shall I begin with Ah, or Oh ? 
Be sad ? Oh I yes. Be glad ? Ah I no. 
Light subjects suit not grave Pindaric ode, 
Which walks with metre down the Strophic road. 

Of the older ballad style, Johnson was one of the first parodists, 

with his— 

As with my hat upon my head 

I walk'd along the Strand, 

I there did meet another man 

With his hat in his hand. 

Of later years we have had, among several, Mr. Cholmondeley 

Pennell, with his — 

It was the huge metropolis 

With fog was like to choke ; * 
It was the gentle cabby horse 

His ancient knees that broke 
And oh, it was the cabby-man 

That swore with all his might, 
And did request he might be blowed 

Particularly tight, 
If any swell should make him stir 

Another step that night ! 

The purely modern ballad has received its happiest treatment from 
Mr, Calverley, whose skit, especially, upon the invariable " refrain " is 
particularly mirth-provoking. No one — not even the writers of the 
ballads themselves — could resist such a passage as this : — 

The farmer's daughter hath frank blue eyes ; 

(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) ; 
She hears the rooks caw in the windy skies, 

As she sits at her lattice and shells her peas. 
The farmer's daughter hath ripe red lips ; 

(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) ; 
If you try to approach her, away she skips 

Over tables and chairs with apparent ease. 
The fanner's daughter hath soft brown hair ; 

(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) ; 
And I've met with a ballad, I can't say where, 

Which wholly consisted of lines like these. 

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The Poetry of Parody. 327 

Among the various descriptions of poetry which have been parodied 
from time to time are the melodramatic, the didactic, the domestic, 
and songs of the nursery, the drawing-room, and the popular order. 
The melodramatic has been dealt with in such productions as the 
" Rehearsal " of Buckingham, the " Critic " of Sheridan, the " Tom 
Thumb" of Fielding, and the " Chrononhotonthologos " of Carey. 
In all of these the reader finds more or less admirable travesties of 
the popular " tragic " verse-writing of the respective eras. In the 
case of two of them, modern audiences have from time to time 
had opportunities of listening to the mock-bombastic speeches of 
Ttlburina and Fadladinida, Whiskcrandos and Aldiborontiphosco- 
phornio\—ol Tilburina^ with her "mad" soliloquy — 

The wind wMstles— the moon rises— see, 
They have killed my squirrel in his cage : 
Is this a gravedigger? Ha ! no; it is my 
Whiskerandos— you shaU not keep him, 
I know you have him in your pocket. 
An oyster may be crossed in love ! — who says 
A whale's a bird ? — Ha ! did you call, my love? 
He's here ! He's there I He's everywhere I 
Ah me ! he's nowhere ! — 

and of Fadladinida, with her rhapsody over the king of the 
Antipodes, who walked upon his hands— 

Oh my Tadlanthe ! Have you seen his face, 
His air, his shape, his mien, his every grace ? 
In what a charming attitude he stands I 
How prettily he foots it with his hands ! 
Well, to his arms— no, to his legs— I fly I 
For I must have him, if I live or die ! 

In u Tom Thumb " there is the famous image of the dogs, which 
Leigh Hunt has praised for " the solemnity of its triviality and the 
stately monosyllabic stamp of its music." The " Rehearsal"" is not 
now so readable as its contemporaries doubtless found it, though 
the burlesque of Dryden and Sir Robert Howard will always be 
appreciated by the student Of didactic verse of the kind common 
in last century, probably the best burlesque obtainable is in the 
" Anti-Jacobin " — that mine of graceful wit and rollicking humour. 
Here, for instance, is a truly edifying passage : — 

Ah ! who has seen the mailed lobster rise, 
Clap her broad wings, and, soaring, claim the skies ? 
When did the owl, descending from her bower, 
Crop, 'mid the fleecy flocks, the tender flower ; 
Or the young heifer plunge, with pliant limb, 
In the salt waves, and fish-like strive to swim ? 

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328 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

The same with plants— potatoes 'tatoes breed, 
The costly cabbage springs from cabbage-seed ; 
Lettuce to lettuce, leeks to leeks, succeed ; 
Nor e'er did cooling cucumber presume 
To flower like myrtle, or like violets bloom. 

Of verse of the domestic or " homely-pathetic n sort, Bret Harte 
supplies us with an imitation : — 

The dews are heavy on my brow, 

My breath comes hard and low ; 
Yet, mother dear, grant one request, 

Before your boy must go. 
Oh, lift me ere my spirit sinks, 

And ere my senses fail : 
Place me once more, O mother dear, 

Astride the old fence rail. 

The old fence rail, the old fence rail ! 

How oft these youthful legs, 
With Alice and Ben Bolt's, were hung 

Across those wooden pegs. 
'Twas there the nauseating smoke 

Of my first pipe arose : 
O mother dear ! these agonies 

Are far less keen than those ! 

In the parody of nursery-poetry Mr. Lewis Carroll is, of course, 
facile princcps. Nothing can surpass the airy felicity of his quaint 
perversion of our childhood's favourites. "Alice" and "Through 
the Looking-glass " swarm with them. At one time it is — 

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat ! 
How I wonder what you're at I 
Up above the world you fly, 
Like a tea-tray in the sky. 

At another it is — 

How doth the little crocodile 

•Improve his shining tail, 
And pour the waters of the Nile 
On every shining scale. 

Then, too, in the matter of popular melody, what could be better 
than his — 

Beautiful soup, so rich and green, 
Waiting in a big tureen ! 
Who for such dainties would not stoop 
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup ! 
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup \ 

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The Poetry of Parody, 329 

In the direction of drawing-room ditty, we have only to go to 
Planchd, with his — 

When other lips and other eyes 

Their tales of love shall tell, 
Which means the usual sort of lies 

You've heard from many a swell ; 
When, bojed with what you feel is bosh, 

You'd give the world to see 
A friend whose love you know will wash, 

Oh, then remember me ! 

or to Thackeray, with his — 

When moonlike ore the hazure seas 

In soft effulgence swells, 
When silver jews and balmy breaze 

Bend down the Lily's bells — 
When calm and deap the rosy sleap 

Has rapt your soal in dreems, 
R Hangeline ! R lady mine ! 

Dost thou remember Jeames ? 

Closely allied, of course, to these " songs without sense " (of 
which Bret Harte also supplies an example that might be quoted), 
are the love-verses which used to be fashionable more than a hundred 
years ago, and of which Swift, among several writers, has left a very 
quaint burlesque. These, however, may be studied elsewhere. We 
have now run lightly over most of the ground occupied by poetical 
parody in our language, and the result is at least to show that, with 
some that is poor or merely mediocre in character, there is much that 
is of the highest interest and value, and that we were never more 
richly endowed with adequate and successful parodists than we are at 
this moment. 


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330 T/u Gentleman's Magazine. 



DESCH APELL, the Chess King, learnt chess in four days, after 
which he beat every player who dared to meet him over the 
chess-board. I studied chess for four years, and acquired a certain 
proficiency, but discarded all hope of ever reaching that standard of 
skill to which every young chess-player sanguinely aspires. 

Often have I turned away from board and men with the resolve 
to never again enter a contest, convinced that I never could 
become a chess-player of the foremost rank; I consoled myself 
with the thought that Pandora's box could not possibly deal out to 
every aspirant the genius necessary to become a Ponziani or a 

Besides — the grapes were sour — to be a first-class chess-player, 
and keep up the reputation of being such, detracted in my eyes 
from the pleasures which the game otherwise afforded. 

The worship of Caissa is, however, so alluring, so fascinating, 
that the mind, after an interval of repose, returns to it with renewed 
vigour, greater hope, and redoubled energy, intent on wresting the 
palm of victory from the majority of opponents. 

It would be an injustice to the noble game of chess were we 
guided by momentary results in our estimation of the pleasures and 
advantages to be derived from the pursuit of this intellectual pastime. 
We may lose a game, or even a match ; yet we have fought well, 
fairly met our challenged foe, have not blundered, but gained his 
respect by our doughty combat ; and being beaten, we have not 
hesitated to yield to our opponent in a manly spirit Such thoughts 

1 The greater part of this legend was written in the earlier part of 1878, and 
was submitted to Mons. A. Delannoy for translation into French ; but not think- 
ing the framework of the story suitable for French readers, and being himself a 
prolific original writer, this gentleman, with the consent of the author, adapted 
the leading idea of this story for his amusing article " Mephistopheles at the 
Paris Exhibition," published in La Strategic in April 1878. The chess-problem 
appearing in that article was especially composed by Mr. F. Healey, 

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How Mephisto was Caught. 331 

have often induced me to direct my steps back to the chess club, 
and enticed me to enter again the list of combatants in a tourna- 
ment ; inspired by the intellectual feats of Staunton, Anderson, and 
Morphy, I cherished the hope of reaching nearer and nearer the 
perfection of such masters. When gaining a victory, visions of 
further successes buoyed me up and refanned my sinking courage ; 
a well-contested but lost game caused me to apply myself to 
renewed study, and so engaged I often passed the midnight hours 
in solitude over the chess-board. 

It was after an evening spent at the chess club over a match- 
game which I lost, although (as chess-players always flatter themselves) 
I ought to have won it. Dispirited, I wended my way homewards, my 
heated brain busy with the position of the game, in which I made 
the move that turned fortune (of course, not my opponent's skill) 
against me. I must have been thinking aloud, must have been 
soliloquising whilst walking along, for I heard a voice near me 
exclaim : "You can be the strongest chess-player in the world if you 
will follow my instructions." 

Any other remark would have found my ear deaf; but this so 
harmonised with the thoughts then occupying me, that I was conscious 
of hearing the voice very plainly. I turned round to look at the 
person addressing me, but to my great astonishment I could see 
no one except two or three human figures flitting along the dimly 
lighted streets at a distance too great for their voices to have reached 

I stood still, feeling rather baffled for a moment ; then, smiling at 
my foolishness in allowing my mind to be thrown off its guard by its 
own wanderings, I resumed my journey. Of course, I thought, this 
is only a specimen of Dr. Carpenter's " unconscious cerebration," 
and whilst giving way to a merry laugh, I quickened my steps to 
make up for the time I had lost so dreamingly on the road. 

I reached home later than usual ; it was already half an hour 
past midnight The servants had strict orders never to wait up 
for me after half-past eleven, hence all had gone to rest, and I 
was the only occupant of the lower part of the house. I locked 
and bolted the street-door, fastened the chain in the usual 
manner (as confirmed by the servant when questioned about it the 
next morning), and then looked in at the library, where I opened 
several letters received by the last post. I could, however, not 
fix my attention upon either of these letters ; my mind was still too 
much occupied with my defeat; and had I g9n£ ze $> y |>ed, sleep 

33* The Gentleman's Magazine. 

would have kept away from me for hours. So I determined to 
settle my doubt about the chances I had thrown away in the 
game played during the evening, by subjecting it to a closer 
analysis. I arranged board and men, and played the game over 
up to the point where I could have forced it, my opponent being 
completely at my mercy. But how could I have possibly over* 
looked so evident a move at the decisive movement ? What made 
me so blind as not to see that with this one coup my opponent's 
resources were completely gone ? 

Almost angrily I rose from my chair, fully convinced that, with 
my mind harassed and irritated by an annoying vocation during 
the day, I could not expect it to be fit for so trying a mental task as 
a match game at chess j and I settled the whole question by exclaim- 
ing, " I never can be a profound chess-player." At that moment I 
felt a draught of air through the room as if doors at each end had 
been suddenly opened, although I heard no noise, and a voice 
exclaimed, " But you can, if you will follow my instruction." 

I recognised the voice ; it was the same which I had heard on 
my way home, but now it seemed to come from every part of the 
room, and made me stagger back into my chair. I defy the stoutest 
heart not to beat quicker at such an unwelcome phenomenon occur- 
ring to him when alone during the still hours of the night. No 
human being was near me when the voice in the street sounded so 
close to my ear, and no one had followed me into the house, as I 
myself had fastened the street-door. Besides, I had not been so 
absorbed in my analysis but that the least noise would have forced 
itself on my attention. 

Yet here was the same voice, clear and sonorous, coming from 
no distinct part of the room to indicate the whereabouts of the 
speaker. I remember shutting my eyes, whilst the idea of uncon- 
scious cerebration flashed across my mind, with the conviction that 
it could not be this. I was far from harbouring any belief in spirits 
or ghosts, and my philosophy certainly excluded animism from its 
doctrines ; hence, spiritualistic tendencies of my mind could never 
have caused my brain to produce unconsciously the speech I heard. 

All these reflections passed rapidly before me, and made the 
whole phenomenon still more puzzling, particularly as I perceived 
that a mephitic odour diffused itself about me. I opened my eyes, 
and to my horror discovered my light extinguished, while a subdued 
red glare rilled the room. I felt that my mind was labouring under 
some fearful hallucination, from which I endeavoured to free myself 
by rising from, my chair. But my limbs refused tp obey my ^rili J 

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ffow Mepkisto tuns CaughL $33 

Was prostrate, paralysed, and felt the perspiration pouring down my 
forehead in cold drops. While in this state of agony I heard the 
voice addressing me in the following words, spoken in a cynical, 
sarcastic manner, which made me shudder, and caused my blood to 
curdle in every part of my body : " First, my dear A., let me allay 
your fears, which I know, from long experience, torture you mortals 
in a pitiable degree ; take my assurance that I have not come to 
harm you, however mysterious the manner and form of my approach. 
Take courage, regain your full consciousness, and believe me, 
although it may appear incredible, that all you have just experienced 
in your person is but the result of your own weak human nature. Do 
not be deceived in me and my character, for, I doubt not, we shall 
be good friends so soon as your eye has become accustomed to my 
face and figure. 11 These words induced me to take a look at the 
speaker, who, I felt, now stood opposite to me on the other side of 
the chess table. The first object that caught my sight was his keen, 
penetrating eye, which appeared to have a singular attractive power — 
so great, that I felt myself unable to look at any other part of his 
person. This, however, did not prevent me from observing his tall 
figure enveloped in a fiery red dress, his biliously tinted features, 
expressing a cutting sneer and a sardonic smile, his long fingers, &c. 
All reflection had forsaken me ; my blood seemed to have ceased to 
circulate, and my tongue refused to express the question now tor- 
menting my mind. But he seemed to guess my thoughts, and fore- 
stalled my inquiry by introducing himself to me in the following 
words : " You will have, I hope, no objection to my taking the seat 
opposite to you at this table, whilst making you acquainted with me 
and the object of my visit. You may in your own mind have already 
denominated me the Devil, or Satan, or given me any of the names 
by which popular superstition designates what it calls an evil spirit 
But as I know, my dear A., that your mind is cast in a mould 
superior to the ordinary type, it is not necessary now to refute any 
such ideas about my person or origin— for the moment, at least — and 
I will beg you to accept my presence here as a material fact ; leave 
all scruples and further questions until we have transacted our busi- 
ness, and call me simply Mephistopheles, or, shortly, Mephisto. 
I can read in your face that you have heard of me before this, no 
doubt in connection with the life and death "—(a shudder ran through 
me when remembering of what kind it was) — " of Dr. Faustus ; but 
feel no alarm \ I do not wish to practise magical science with you, 
but have come to you as a chess-player. You look surprised. 
Know then, my dear A., that I am as passionately fond of chess as 

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334 2Hk Gentleman's Magazine. 

you are ; but I possess the advantage of having practised the game 
since it was invented, and measured my strength against all the 
old chess masters, from Greco, Paolo Bois, and Ruy Lopez, down to 
Phiiidor and Labourdonnais. Not only have I played with them, 
but most of the ancient players have had to thank me for their skill. 
Without your knowing it, I have often watched your struggles to 
improve in this most fascinating mental sport ; and having seen and 
admired your unflagging industry, and, above all, knowing you to 
possess a mind which engages in subjects of higher import in a free 
and unbiassed spirit, I have long felt a desire to assist you in your 
endeavours to become a strong chess-player." He paused for a 
moment, as if hesitating how to proceed, whilst the smile on his face 
assumed a truly diabolical expression. I had ceased to rack my 
brain for a solution of this extraordinary phenomenon, and was 
sitting motionless in my chair, ready to accept any phase which this 
adventure might assume, when I heard him say : " Why I appear to 
you at this hour and in this form I cannot tell you now, as time is 
fleeting, and I have to be three thousand miles away in the heart of 
Asia before the sun shall be at its meridian there ; hence I must be 
brief to-night ; but on my next visit we shall have more time for 
explanation. Yes, my dear i A.,' 1 mean to come again, and my 
visits will, I am sure, become more and more agreeable to you ; 
but we must come to an understanding before we proceed. My 
presence here is subject to certain conditions \ the first, and the only 
important one, is : that you must not on any account or in any form 
make the sign of the cross in my presence, or during the whole time 
that my transactions with you will last You may by means of it 
break the spell with which I control you at this moment, and you 
may banish me from your presence; but you certainly do so at the 
risk of your life. I need not ask you, as I know that you have 
strength of mind sufficient to promise fulfilment of this stipulation." 
At these words I felt my whole body shaking, with a peculiar sensa- 
tion in every joint ; it was evident to me that I was free to move, 
from which I had been prevented by the mysterious influence of my 

" The other point," he continued, "to be observed by you, in order 
to make my presence and my return possible, is — silence to every one 
concerning me and my visits. But I scarcely think there is any neces- 
sity for me to dwell longer on the fulfilment of this condition, so that 
I can now revert to the chief object of our interview." Mephisto's 
piercing glance had so riveted my eyes, and his words had so fasci- 
nated my attention, that I could not gain a moment's time to attempt 

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How Mephisto was Caught 335 

an explanation of this apparition ; and he seemed anxiously watching 
me, so as to prevent my thoughts from being otherwise engaged than 
in the manner he desired 

u From my remarks," he resumed, " you already know that I 
profess to teach the royal game of chess ; to which I must add, that 
I can bring my pupils to a degree of perfection which enables them 
to combat successfully every other living chess-player. I have, you 
must know, only one living pupil at a time, and the death of my 
last disciple in Arabia, who never had an opportunity to measure his 
strength with European players, has induced me to search for a new 
candidate. Your earnest desire to improve in the game has attracted 
my attention, and I now offer you the position of the strongest chess- 
player in the world, if you will avail yourself of my assistance for 
that purpose. Before I, however, receive your reply, it is but fair 
that I should acquaint you with the conditions under which I offer 
my instructions to you, since, as you will perceive, my dear A., 
even the devil likes to go to work in a straightforward manner. " 

I had by this time regained full control over my mind, and 
determined to meet my uninvited guest with all the courage and 
mental powers at my disposal ; so I exclaimed (in a voice intended to 
be firm and fearless, which yet, however, must have betrayed some 
nervousness, as it brought a smile on Mephisto's face) : " Be you man 
or devil, I beg you to understand that your presence here was never 
solicited, nor is it welcome ; and I trust that, by the same mysterious 

means that enabled you to effect your entrance, you will ." He 

would not allow me to continue, but, with his condescending cynical 
smile, interrupted me by saying : " Stop, stop, my dear A., be not too 
rash with your threats or your judgment ; first hear me out, and then 
decide. Prejudice and my mysterious approach will, it seems, not 
allow you to treat me with any confidence ; it is hence necessary that 
we should come to an understanding. I must beg you to divest 
yourself of the idea, fostered by popular tradition, that my object in 
all compacts which I make is the possession of the human soul. 
That is not the case ; for the service which I desire to render you — 
namely, making you the strongest chess-player — I shall ask in return 
your services during your terrestrial life ; my influence over human 
beings does not extend beyond the grave, so I leave every one to 
answer for his own soul hereafter. I shall not press you for a deci- 
sion to-night, but will give you a week to consider my proposition, 
which time will enable you to discover that I can fulfil my engage- 
ment by making you victorious against any chess-player whom you 
may feel inclined to challenge. This day week I shall return at the 

336 'The deniUmatis AfagafdHi. 

Sante hoitf, when I hope, my dear A., you will be ready to receive 
me, and* like a sensible man and an enthusiastic chess-player, you 
will accept my terms. So, au revoir" I felt myself rudely shaken, 
and appeared just awakening from a dream. I rubbed my eyes and 
looked round me, when, instead of Mephisto, I discovered my wife 
standing by my side with a candle in one hand, the other resting on 
my shoulder. It is needless to relate the gentle reproof I received 
for my imprudence in spending the hours, so needful for rest of body 
and mind, over the chess-board, and in so exhausted a condition that 
even an interesting position — still visible on the board — could not 
keep me awake. I had been asleep, then ? Why, of course ; and 
but for some strange noise about the house, which awakened my 
wife and servants, I might have remained still longer in my unenviable 
positioa I looked stupefied. I was sure I had been awake when 
my mysterious visitor made his appearance ; the whole scene was too 
vividly impressed upon my mind to be the mere remembrance of a 
dream. Yet it must have been only a dream ; and so, harassed by 
doubts and reflections, I sought the arms of sleep, hoping for a solu- 
tion of my perplexed state of mind on the coming morrow. 

My face must have betrayed the thoughts that occupied me, since 
my wife during the next and following days did not cease questioning 
me about the cause of the trouble so plainly depicted on my 
countenance; and what made matters worse was my constant 
endeavour to avoid her company, that I might brood undisturbed over 
the nature of my adventure. All my attempts at a solution failed, 
and I could only shift an explanation of the phenomenon on to the 
shoulders of Kant, Schopenhauer, Helmholtz, or Zollner, by assuming 
Mephisto to be a being of four dimensions, with the capacity of 
assuming our three-dimensional existence whenever it pleased him. All 
my cogitations ended at last in curiosity as to my chess strength. Was I 
really stronger than I had been before the eventful night? I could 
easily put this to the test : and if I found myself really stronger, 
if I could conquer the first-class players all round, this would 
amount to a definite proof that I had not been dreaming. Im- 
patience to measure myself against the champions of the club and 
the chess-divan took possession of me; and my most important 
engagements for the day being satisfied, I hastened to challenge the 
first strong player I could meet. I disdained to take odds, and nearly 
offended my opponent by insisting upon playing even. To his, not 
more than to my own astonishment, I won — won by a combination 
which took me utterly by surprise, and which had the effect of bringing 

How Mephisto was Caught. 337 

other players of no mean chess strength around me, eager to test 
whether or not my suddenly acquired chess powers were of a perma- 
nent or an ephemeral character. But all had to succumb. 

So the week passed on, and the evening approached on which I 
had to meet my mysterious chess master. My successes over the 
board had produced, no doubt, the intended effect The chess 
strength so miraculously acquired, unconsciously excited in me the 
desire for further powers, a wider knowledge, and an extended 
mental vision. I seemed to long for the meeting with Mephisto, 
and so presented a frame of mind which made me a ready prey for 
his crafty snares. When I reached home from the club, rather 
earlier than usual, I was met by the servant at the door, who, in a 
trembling voice, informed me that a stranger, a tall foreigner, was 
waiting for me in the library ; that he had gone into the room as if 
he knew the house, and told her not to trouble herself about him, 
that master would be home directly, and that she might go to bed ; 
but somehow she did not like his appearance, and felt uneasy. 
Displeased at her encounter with Mephisto, I reproached the servant 
for her fanciful ideas, and told her rather sharply to be gone. 

I found my visitor standing before a bookcase, so deeply interested 
in a small volume that he appeared not to notice my approach until 
I was close to him, when he turned round, and, in a pleasing voice, 
congratulated me on the contents of my library. 

a You will," he continued, "during the past week have experi- 
enced the chess powers which I have imparted to you, and you 
can try these powers in a contest with me to determine whether 
your services shall be at my, or my services at your, disposal 
during your lifetime. I propose that we shall play three games 
at chess, one game a week; if I win all these games, your services 
shall be mine : in which case I shall provide you with ample 
funds for the remainder of your life, and keep you free from 
all harm which any undertaking on my account may possibly 
subject you to, besides making you the strongest living chess- 
player ; and should I fail in this, even in one instance, our 
compact shall be considered cancelled. If, on the other hand, you 
can succeed in drawing even one of the games, and so prevent 
me from winning all three, my services shall be yours in any way 
you may decide. I have only to repeat what I said at our first 
interview, as a primary condition, namely : that you must not on any 
account or in any form make the sign of the Cross in my presence, or 
during the whole time that my transactions with you may last, I 

VOI-.CCLI. NO. 1809. Z 

338 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

cannot explain to you now for what reason I make this request ; 
suffice it for you to know, that if you make this sign you may banish 
me from your presence at great risk to yourself; and that should I 
myself even inadvertently make the sign in any way or form, I forfeit 
the control of certain natural powers which now I am able to call to 
my aid. Such, my dear A., are the stipulations of our agreement, 
and it is for you now to declare whether or not you will accept the 
position of chess champion of the world, with an ample competency 
for the remainder of your life, under the conditions I have named ; 
with the chance of gaining my services, should the chess contest 
decide in your favour." 

Here his speech ended, while his keen «ye was fixed on me as if 
searching for a reply. I had sunk into reflection which made it 
impossible for me to answer as quickly as he perhaps desired. He 
evidently noticed this, for he turned towards the bookcase whilst telling 
me he would give me ten minutes for considering the question. 

Already during the past week had I, in anticipation of this 
moment, weighed the pros and cons of the offer made me, and had 
as often decided in the negative as in the affirmative, as either cool 
reflection or the intoxicating pride of a chess champion took 
possession of my mind. 

But what at this moment influenced me most was the prospect of 
winning against Mephisto with one drawn game out of the three. 
Surely, I thought, the devil's chess play cannot be so far beyond my 
powers as to prevent me even from effecting a draw, particularly if I 
concentrate all my powers on this alone. Chances were greatly 
in my favour; and should fate be against me in this contest, my 
ultimate lot appeared not a very hard one ; so I decided to reply 
in the affirmative. 

Mephisto's account of himself had, no doubt, had great influence 
in inducing me to treat him with more confidence than I felt towards 
him in the first hour of our interview ; and he had brought my mind 
into such a condition, that he knew well, probably, how I should 
decide. Upon informing him of my willingness to agree to his terms, 
and to engage in the match, he seemed not in the least surprised, 
and showed not the least sign of rejoicing; but quietly took his 
seat at the chess-table, and expressed a desire, if I had no objection, 
that the first game might be played that same evening, although it 
was late. I consented, having previously taken the precaution of 
persuading my wife to spend a short time with friends in the country, 
so that I might be left unfettered in my movements at home. 

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How Mephisto was Caught. 


Mephisto himself proposed that I should have the choice of men, 
and the first move in the first game ; and not seeing any reason why 
I should refuse, I accepted, thinking that I certainly gained a chance 
of either bringing the game to a decisive position in my favour or 
securing a draw ; so I chose the white men, and opened with the 
usual moves leading to the giuoco piano, which gave me a 
safe position. I obtained what appeared to me a formidable 
attack, and gave myself up to the idea that I had an easily won 
victory ; but Mephisto's tactics were evidently to allow me to deceive 
myself. He played simply a defensive game, reckoning upon my 
over-certainty of winning ; and then gradually brought his pieces into 
a safe position, ready to take advantage of any oversight of mine. 
So the game must have lasted about three hours, when I considered 
my attack upon my opponent overwhelming. I had my king safely 
sheltered, was a piece and four pawns ahead, and threatened mate on 
the move, as the following position will show: — 

"A" (white). 

* i 

*■ * 

• j : ■ 

"SMpBi0" (black). 

Whilst already congratulating myself upon certain victory, I heard 

my opponent coolly remark, that, although I had played in a most 

creditable manner, he could now announce a mate in seven moves. 

For the moment I mistrusted my senses as to whether I had heard 

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340 The Getitlemaris Magazine. 

correctly, and indulged in a smile of doubt. Mephisto observing 
this, repeated his announcement, made the first and indicated the 
following successive moves, to convince me of the certainty with 
which he had calculated the issue of his strategy. I stared at the 
position, my burning head leaning on my hands, whilst I was wrestling 
with the desire to express in angry words my chagrin at the result ; 
when, with a pitying smile, and in a tone which jarred upon my ears, 
Mephisto expressed his gratification at finding me so strong, and 
prophesied better success for me with all mortal opponents. " Mean- 
time, dear A., " he continued, " take matters calmly, and do not yet 
despair of being the winner in our contest I shall return in a week's 
time, and hope to find you complete master over all your faculties. 
Till then, farewell." So absorbed was I in contemplating the 
position, that I forgot the ordinary civilities which a host owes to 
his guest, and he made his exit unattended. 

When I found myself alone, a paroxysm of rage for a moment 
took possession 'of me, perhaps not so much in consequence of 
the loss of the game, as because of the patronising tone in which 
my opponent addressed me, after having himself escaped by a hair's- 
breadth from the fate which he inflicted upon me. In this frame of 
mind I retired for the night, but it was many hours before my 
mind became oblivious of the troubles of the day. 

Two days elapsed before I found courage to look at a chess- 
board again, with the object of pondering over the game played 
against my mysterious visitor ; and the more I looked at the position, 
the more clearly it became apparent tome that my own impetuosity and 
over-confidence in my safety had caused the loss of the game. With 
a mate on the move, I forgot my wily opponent, who so manoeuvred 
that, by the sacrifice of his queen and two rooks, he inflicted defeat 
on me in seven successive checks. Had I kept my queen at home, and 
opened my game by advancing my pawns, it was evident that I could 
not have failed to secure victory. The oftener I analysed the game 
the more convinced I became that Mephisto depended rather upon 
my over-confidence in attack than upon my want of combining- 
power and circumspection ; and this reflection seemed to renew my 
courage for re-engaging my adversary in the remaining games of our 
match. I purposely avoided the chess-board, and spent a few days 
in the country ; thereby gaining vigour of body and clearness of mind 
before returning home to meet my opponent 

On the day of our next appointment I arranged the table with 

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How Mephisto was Caught. 341 

chess-board and men in readiness for the arrival of my visitor. I 
was desirous that Mephisto should not suspect the slightest hesitation 
on my part to meet him in our encounter. He arrived in good time, 
and entered the room unannounced. A pleasing self-satisfied smile 
was on his face, which made me remark, that he no doubt felt sure 
of his victim, but that it did not require any special politeness on his 
part to confirm me in my resolution to abide by the stipulations of 
our compact " My dear A., n he replied, " you are in error if you 
think the emotions expressed in my features are caused by our meeting. 
What makes me feel happy is the result of my latest adventure ; but 
I will not entertain you by relating this, as the time will soon arrive 
when I shall make you fully acquainted with me, and when you 
will learn with surprise that my history is closely interwoven with 
the history of the human mind ; that as this latter widens its field 
of inquiry and its depth of comprehension, to that extent will my 
raison d'etre vanish, and my whole character be understood. But more 
of this anon ; let us proceed to our game, as time is pressing with me, 
and I should not like to be guilty of hurrying you in your moves." 

Mephisto had the first move ; and on my replying with pawn to 
K 4, &c., he led up to a Ruy Lopez. I took advantage of the 
analytical studies of our modern masters, especially Zukertort, who 
have thoroughly exhausted this opening in both attack and defence, 
and defended myself in a manner which caused my adversary to 
study carefully these, to him, perhaps new positions. 

I succeeded after the eighteenth or twentieth move not only in 
making the game even, but in forcing the exchange, and my attack 
assumed an apparently overwhelming character. Mephisto, however, 
proved himself a wonderful pawn player, and evidently endeavoured 
to gain the advantage by pushing'a pawn to queen ; to prevent which, 
I was obliged to give the exchange. This, as well as his excellent 
manoeuvring of the knights, enabled him to ward off the immediate 
danger, and bring about an equality of pieces, as shown in the follow- 
ing position : 

We were both left with queen, rook, and three pawns, but the 
advantage of position was greatly in my favour. I threatened mate 
on the move, which could only be avoided by an exchange of queens ; 
his rook was en prise> and I had a free pawn at K 6 ready to go to 
queen. He could not possibly escape this time, particularly since 
any attempt on his part to mate me could only result in a draw, 
owing to the position of my king. I must have involuntarily evinced 
my delight at the apparent certainty with which I thought I had 
caught the devil, because Mephisto looked at me with a sneering 


The Gentleman 's Magazine. 

smile, and said, " No doubt, my dear A., you look upon our contest 
as coming to a favourable conclusion through your unquestionably 
excellent play ; but I am sorry to inform you, that you mistake the 
issue of this game. You must observe that it is now my move ; and 
taking advantage of it, I can mate you in seven moves at latest" 
" Never," cried I, excited ; " I play ray K to R 3 and back to Kt 2, 
and you can but draw the game ; and if you prevent the mate I 
threaten, then the exchange leaves me with a clear rook." " I have 
too high a regard for you," he replied, " to do more than indi- 
cate the exact position in which I produce the mate." I saw it ; 
saw only too plainly that, with all my good play, I was conquered — 
conquered by a wily stratagem, of which none but a diabolical 
chess-player could be capable. 

" A " (white). 

i i 


/ 1 

"gTcpbisia" (biack). 

Disheartened, I sank back in my chair ; and whether sleep, swoon, 
or Mephisto's magic power overcame me, I know not — but I lost my 
senses for a time. When I regained consciousness, I found that my 
mysterious visitor had disappeared, having left the position on the board 
as it was at the moment when he announced the mate — a mate, strangely 
enough, again in the fatal seven moves. Yes, whichever way I played, 

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How Mephisto was Caught. 343 

with the best reply in my favour, it was, either way, mate in the same 
number of moves ; and my short-sighted assumption, that his checking 
would lead to a draw, was blown to the winds. In a fit of anger, I swept 
the men off the board, took my hat, and sought to cool my heated brain 
in the night air. Who can depict my astonishment when I found 
the street-door properly locked, bolted, and chained ! It made me halt, 
and sobered my anger considerably ; for it forced on my mind the 
recognition that I had to deal with a superior power. What had 
become of Mephisto ? How had he made his exit ? The impos- 
sibility of answering such questions, except by guesses, made me 
discard the attempt ; and instead of roaming about the streets in the 
night, I turned back and went to bed, endeavouring to forget my 
disappointment in sleep. 

The next few days found me gloomily pondering over the adven- 
ture in which I had so foolishly engaged ; and the question constantly 
recurred to me : How will Mephisto dispose of my services, should 
fate decide against me in our next contest? It was of course now too 
late to raise this question with the view of evading the consequences 
of his winning the third game ; but the greater the probability of the 
match being decided in Mephisto's favour, the more did my mind 
dwell on the nature of my connection with this mysterious being. I 
could not but admit that, so far, his whole appearance and his actions 
had removed from my mind any fear such as a spirit of the tra- 
ditional type would have inspired. Mephisto's true nature seemed 
an enigma which closer acquaintance alone could solve ; and the 
prospect of thoroughly analysing so mysterious a being, who appar- 
ently had played so important but dubious a rdle in the world's 
history, fascinated me so much, as to overcome even the slightest 
hesitation to carry out our compact in the strictest sense. That he 
was in his nature and character different from what popular credulity 
had painted him, I was fully convinced ; and I was, furthermore, 
prepared to believe that his so-called supernatural powers were 
nothing but the most extended knowledge and practical application 
of natural forces, which humanity laboriously acquires* by slow 
steps. So, the more I reasoned upon my adventure, the less 
restraint I felt in meeting my chess master for the third and deciding 

The eventful evening arrived, and I had everything in readiness 
N for the reception of my visitor. When he entered the room, he 
approached me and cast a searching glance as if to read my thoughts; 
but seeing me look calm, and, if not exactly cheerful, at least without 

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344 TAe Gentleman's Magazine* 

any indications of depression of mind, he began chatting about the 
events of the day in an indifferent manner, until suddenly he turned 
round and asked significantly, "And you are quite prepared, my 
dear A., to engage in the last game of our contest, in order to decide 
in what relation we shall stand to each other during the remainder of 
your life?" "Oh, certainly," I replied; "do not, pray, imagine 
that either fear or mistrust would make me break my word in regard 
to our compact Let us proceed, if you are willing, to the chess- 
board at once, and you shall find that I intend to do battle with you 
till the last chance of my winning has disappeared." 

Mephisto looked at me in an inquiring manner, as if to detect 
a little bravado as the basis of my speech. A smile stole over his 
face whilst taking his seat opposite me, and he remarked : " What- 
ever the result of this game may be, I can give you the assurance 
that you shall never have occasion to regret the manner in which you 
have confided in me. But," he continued after a short pause, " let 
us proceed with the game, and reserve all further explanation until 
the result of our contest has been decided. I shall have more to 
say to you then than I can utter at present ; so, dear A., make your 

I adopted this time the Vienna opening, and played a care- 
ful, steady game, always looking more to safety at home than to 
attack ; but my wily opponent took every opportunity to make me 
aware of the weakest point in my position, and by this means 
harassed me. However, his several attempts at breaking into my 
camp failed, and the battle was in consequence prolonged for many 
hours. No decided advantage was gained on either side ; but, as I 
had to watch for every opportunity that the varying position afforded 
for drawing the game, so my opponent had to be upon the alert to 
prevent this. I began to feel the effect of this continuous strain on 
my mind, and became alarmed lest my adversary should succeed in 
beating me through my want of physical endurance ; hence I deter- 
mined to make one great effort to force the position, so that, by 
the exchange of pieces, the game should become less intricate. I 
endeavoured to get his queen out of play, and was prepared to 
exchange rooks, in which case my extra pawn would have won the 
game, as will be seen from the accompanying diagram. 

In fact, the position appeared to me such, that I felt assured 
my opponent could not succeed in doing more than draw the 
game, which was equivalent to my winning it. It was Mephisto's 
move now, and he took some time to decide what to do. He looked 
intently at the position, and seemed to count. " Aha 1" I thought ; 

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How Mephisto was Caught 


11 he is aware that he cannot escape ; he sees, no doubt, how futile 
is the attempt to ward off the undoubted issue of the battle. 11 I was 
in my own mind curious how this amiable devil would behave under 
defeat ; how he would admit that he was beaten, and that his services 
would be at my disposal. He seemed to guess my thoughts, and 
looked me full in the face in a friendly, serious way, as much as 
to reproach me for rejoicing at his misadventure. I felt a little 
ashamed, and was on the point of excusing myself, when Mephisto 
addressed me in the following words : " You have no doubt in your 
experience found that Fate often appears to deal with us as if 
purposely to test our mental and moral qualities, by promising 
us the easy achievement of our desires, and, at the moment of 
accomplishment, causing disappointment in an unexpected manner. 
Well for him who has sufficient fortitude to take life as it comes in 




<@ ■ 

^J5 , t=h : 





"Pirate" (black). 

welfare and adversity, determined to do the best he can, since 
thereby the battle of life is half won. It is for you now, my dear 
A., to test the qualities of your mind, by accepting the decision of 
our contest as revealed in the position on the chess-board before us. 
You are confident the game is in your favour ; and if you had the 

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346 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

move, you could no doubt bring the battle to a successful issue: but 
as it is my turn to play, I am enabled to mate you (if you make the 
best reply) in seven moves, and I beg you to calmly examine the 
position, and acknowledge the inexorable fate which gives me the 
power to demand your surrender." Stung by this patronising admo- 
nition, I felt that desperation and a spiteful sentiment had so possessed 
me as to prevent me from quietly considering the state of the game to 
ascertain how far Mephisto was correct ; so I told him rather im- 
petuously, as if ignoring his announcement of mate, that he had 
better play, to bring the game to a conclusion. Without apparently 
noticing my temper, Mephisto took my knight with his rook, giving 
check, forcing my king to B 3. 

White, 'A.' Black, Mephisto. 

R x Kt(ch) 

KtoB 3 
He now sacrificed his queen by taking my rook, checking, and 
the game proceeded — 

Q x R(ch) 

R x Q R x R (ch) 

Q to K 3 R x Q (ch) 

P x R Kt to B 7 

Although now fully aware that my position was hopeless, I played 
on, making my moves mechanically and quickly, goaded by Mephisto's 
brusque^ manner, which he had assumed whilst these moves were 
being played. I had nothing left to do but to push my pawn, which 
he took with his knight, checking, 

P to K 4 Kt x P (ch) 

and I as readily and quickly played my king to Q 3 ; whereupon 
Mephisto grasped his rook to give what I saw at once was a neat 
and finished mate. 

My fate was decided, my services were assigned to the devil, 
and the deserved reward of a foolish freak made itself painfully felt 
All this flashed instantaneously through my mind, and in despair I 
was on the point of sinking back into my chair, when I saw my 
opponent, to my great astonishment, allow the rook to drop out of his 
hand, whilst a fiendish laugh, which sounded like a yell of agony, 
shook the room and the house to its foundation. Utterly unable to 
comprehend the meaning of this finish of our game and the paroxysms 
of rage to which Mephisto gave vent, the reflections upon my fate 
became doubly painful. My diabolical master seemed to gloat over 
his conquest, and by his manners to prepare me for the tortures of 
But where was Mephisto ? Neither sight nor sound revealed 

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How Mephisto was Caught. 347 

his presence to me. His disappearance heightened the mystery of 
the whole scene ; so much so, that I at first hesitated to raise myself 
out of my chair. It was quite evident that he had suddenly dis- 
appeared, but I failed to perceive the cause of this. Before leaving, 
he had swept the chessmen off the board— contrary to his former 
custom, when he had left me the position to study. Curiosity made 
me play over the game, bringing it again to the position in which he 
had announced mate in seven (oh, that ominous number !) moves, 
and I carefully repeated the continuation as recorded until I came to 
the last The whole secret lay revealed I Mephisto could not, or 
would not, make the move I Why ? Dear reader, I cannot tell you 
why; but if you take a chess board and men, go into your chamber, 
lock the door, set up the position as shown in the diagram, and 
make the moves as stated, you will understand why Mephisto could 
not, and I dared not, make the final move. 

Astonishment at the turn my adventure had taken made me for 
the moment quite overlook the consequences. Mephisto, not having 
completed his last move, had not mated me ; so, of course, accord- 
ing to his own stipulation, I had won the match: and in the 
excitement of the moment I cried aloud, " The devil is caught ; 
henceforth his services will be mine, and I shall chain him to the 
chess-table to play for my amusement." 

I had scarcely uttered these words, when I discovered Mephisto* 
standing by my side, his piercing eye fixed on mine ; and he replied, 
" I take you at your word \ be it so ; but why for your own amuse- 
ment only, when there are so many devotees to the game who will 
be anxious to measure their chess strength against me? You look at 
me in astonishment, no doubt, hardly realising the idea of my being 
publicly exhibited ; but sit down, and I will tell you why I suggest this. 

" You have, during my absence just now, discovered the reason 
of my inability to mate you in the number of moves I declared to 
do ; hence I accept the game as a draw, and the match as decided in 
your favour. 

"Fate has declared against me; and although I might have 
chosen a different course, it would have entailed upon me a sacrifice 
too great to be compensated for. I therefore assign to you my 
services, the nature of which you have already indicated. I can," 
he continued, " read in your face your surprise at the readiness with 
which I submit to the conditions of our compact ; and to explain this, 
as well as to prepare you for the relation in which we are to stand to 
each other in the future, pray listen to the following : I have already 
informed you that my superior knowledge of the forces of Nature 

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348 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

and their practical application enables me to produce phenomena 
which appear to the ignorant the result of supernatural powers, and 
that I have used this physical advantage for the gratification of my 
desire to combat and punish deceit, pretence, and arrogance. It is 
not surprising that in return I should be reviled as the origin of sin, 
and that my control of the natural forces should be adduced as a 
proof of my wickedness. The earliest record of the world's history 
gives proof of the fact that ignorance on the one side and cunning 
on the other combined to ascribe to me the cause of all evil in the 
world ; and although the ideas about me, my form and activity, may 
have altered during the last centuries, it was not until a superior 
mind, about two hundred years ago — Baruch Spinoza — proved, and 
endeavoured to convince his contemporaries, that the existence of an 
evil spirit interfering in the world's development was incompatible 
with the existence of an Almighty ruler of the universe. He was 
rewarded by expulsion from his community. Other enlightened 
minds followed, who attempted to free the public mind from ihe 
disturbed ideas about my being ; who showed the absurdity of the 
horns, cloven hoof, and tail with which a diseased imagination had 
pictured me, and who combated the persecutions of witches as the 
outcome of overstrained fanaticism. 

" Most of these men, whose views and ideas were in advance of 
their times, had to sutler for their boldness in combating the pre- 
vailing popular superstitions. Still, these numerous attempts to 
destroy the belief in the existence of an evil spirit which acts 
independently of the Almighty have not been without effect in 
enlightening the minds of the present generation ; and the liberal 
views entertained on this subject by your men of science and by the 
clergymen of the English Protestant Church, for instance, induce me 
to believe that the time has come when I may boldly show myself 
in public Let my presence in your midst be a proof of the fact 
that, whatever evil is done henceforth in the world, the devil has had 
no hand in it, and that any attempt to shift the guilt upon me should 
be looked upon as an indirect admission of the accuser's own guilty 
conscience. In this way will my presence here contribute to 
enlighten the public mind and destroy all superstition, and with this 
view I am willing to be chained, as you express it, to the chess-table. 
My consent is, however, subject to one condition, to which, no doubt, 
you will gladly accede. Let me maintain silence — silence in every 
tongue — since my natural tendency to expose imposition and conceit 
would make enemies, which must be avoided ; but we can admonish 
the boastful by defeat on the chess-board." 

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How Mephisto was Caught. 349 

Here Mephisto finished, placed himself on the chair at the chess- 
table, and, with his face bent over the board, remained in sullen 
silence. In vain I attempted to elicit some further remarks from 
him about the many enigmas surrounding his whole being and his 
past career : his tongue was tied. 

He is now ready to do battle against all comers, the best opponent 
that any player was ever engaged with. He always smiles at his 
adversary, has no annoying habits, shows no temper, and when he 
has defeated his adversary, he merely looks up in acknowledgment 
of the honour shown him. 

Who can solve the mystery ? 

Some readers may think they discover in the positions of the first 
two games, well-known problems by Mendheim and Lolli ; but there 
can be no doubt whatever that, when composing the problems in 
question, these two famous chess-players had the advantage of 
Mephisto's assistance, [because he knew the positions so well, and 
the solutions of them are so truly diabolical. 

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350 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


INTRODUCED into society at a very early age, there might, upon 
the score of youth and inexperience, have been much ground 
for excuse had Madame de Rambouillet yielded to the coarse and 
licentious influences by which, at the Court of Henry IV. she was 
surrounded, and been swept, with her talents and genius, into a per- 
verted channel. But, instead of this catastrophe, by the charm of her 
person and virtue alone, and without even the factitious aids of 
extraordinary advantage of position or fortune, she successfully 
inaugurated a new era in the history of social life. She leveUed the 
artificial barriers which separated the world of letters from the world 
of fashion, she taught men and women that pure intellectual inter- 
course might subsist between them and elevate the tone of their 
common interests ; and, whilst she lost none of the grace of a nature 
essentially womanly, she acquired, as prototype of the Pre'cieuses, a 
position in which her opinion became an acknowledged and accepted 
standard of taste. 

Imitation is the supreme flattery of admiration, and this homage 
was rendered to Madame de Rambouillet by the Prkcicuses ridicules 
whom Moliere and Boileau so legitimately satirised ; but to make 
Madame de Rambouillet responsible for all the vagaries and absurdi- 
ties of the tribe of her would-be copyists would be as unjust as to 
make real aesthetics and high art responsible for the ludicrous 
excesses which Mr. Burnand mimics in his comedy " The Colonel." 
Madame de Rambouillet possessed that sense of the ridiculous which 
is the safeguard of genius against eccentricity, and the zest with 
which she assisted at the first representation of the Prhcicuses ridicules 
proves that she appreciated the aim of the satire. She had the fear- 
less instinct of natural originality which always marks true genius, 
and was sufficiently sure of herself to venture to act upon her artistic 
impulses ; but the ladies of other and baser clay who tried to copy 
her by rule and line failed as clumsily as might a flock of heavy farm- 
yard fowls trying to imitate the spontaneous motion of some bird of 
the air whose flight sovra gli altri has excited their emulation. 

It appears to us, however, that, setting aside discussions about 

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The H6tel Rambouillet. 351 

the vraies pricieuses and the pricieuses ridicules, or leaving them to be 
elsewhere undertaken and decided, we shall, in reproducing some 
details of the life and surroundings of Madame de Rambouillet, 
gathered from various works dealing more or less directly with the 
subject, be rendering a service to those to whom such works may be 
difficult of access. 

The jargon which the Prkcieuses ridicules affected is familiar to 
everyone in Molifere's inimitable comedies. " A lacquey asks if you 
are within," says Marotte, the servant-girl, to Madelon and Cathos, 
" and says his master wishes to come and see you." " Learn, fool," 
says Madelon, "to express yourself with less vulgarity. Say, a 
necessary demands whether an interview accords with your com- 
modity? " Dame 1 " says Marotte, " I don't understand Latin . . ." 

No jargon was talked at the Hotel, there was no beating about 
the bush to avoid the use of what the Madelons and Cathos of the 
day stigmatised as natural language, but the language used in 
Madame de Rambouillet's presence was not only remarkable, by 
contrast with prevalent abuse, for its reserve, or, as we should say, its 
decency, but, as may happen in any limited set, words perfectly 
correct in their application, but used with an arbitrary restriction or 
expansion of their sense (permissible for the sake of brevity and 
convenience) crept into use at the Hotel de Rambouillet The title 
precieux is an instance of the kind. It was at first always given and 
accepted as an honourable distinction, applied exclusively to those 
who constantly frequented the reunions, and who were soon dis- 
cerned from the exterior world by the remarkable dignity of their 
manners, the general correctness of their language, and the total 
absence of all provincial accent. 

There was only one sure passport of admission to the reunions ; 
neither position, nor birth, nor fortune, secured an entrance ; the 
doors had the reputation of being " less easily, opened than other 
people's ; n they were, indeed, always opened to those who possessed 
the one essential quality of esprit, but, as we stand upon the august 
threshold, it may well be with a certain shrinking sense of deficiency 
that we hesitate before passing it. 

The host who meets us is by no means one of those " eclipsed 
husbands n of whom La Bruyfere speaks. He is tall and of com- 
manding presence, but so thin that we are at once reminded that he 
and his brothers were called the Sapins de Rambouillet on account of 
their height and spareness. His face is well-favoured, except that it 
is somewhat sunken. The De Rambouillet family was ancient 
and noble, although not distinguished in public life ; but, as the 

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352 The Gentleman f s Magazine. 

friend of the unfortunate Concini, Mar&hal d'Ancre, Charles 
d'Angennes, Marquis de Rambouillet, was first made ambassador to 
Spain ; and having, in 1630, drawn Monsieur to the Cardinal's party 
on the famous Journkc des dupes, was rewarded by Richelieu with 
the office of Keeper of the Royal Wardrobe. But Monsieur de 
Rambouillet was proud, and the King's familiarities and coarseness 
were offensive to him, and he soon disposed of his charge by sale, 
without however, Tallemant des R&ux says, ever receiving the 
stipulated payment 

His marriage with Catherine de Vivonne, who was born in 
Rome, and whose mother was an Italian, took place in 1600, the 
bride being a few months less than twelve years of age. Her father, 
Jean de Vivonne, Marquis de Pisani, was French ambassador to 
Sixtus V., and, being a bachelor at sixty-three, but "jpropre and 
fresh still," he was desired by Catherine de Medici to marry an 
Italian lady, to take the place amongst her attendants recently vacant 
by the death of the Countess of Fiesque. The lady selected by the 
Queen to become Monsieur de Vivonne's wife was the childless 
young widow of an Ursini, by birth a Savelli, and through her mother 
(who was one of the Strozzi family) connected with the Medici. 
The marriage was accomplished without delay, the bride and bride- 
groom having only seen each other once or twice beforehand. But 
no order came to return to France, and Pisani continued to reside 
in Rome as ambassador to the Papal Court, until, the martial and 
patriotic spirit, which years had not affected, being stirred irresistibly 
in him by the news of the wars of the League, he left his wife to fulfil 
his diplomatic functions, hastened to join the King's army, and dis- 
tinguished himself by his intrepid daring at the battle of Fontaine 
Francoise. It is interesting to learn that the Italian mother from 
whom Madame de Rambouillet inherited her love of art was a 
woman of remarkable capacity, that she thoroughly understood 
Italian politics, and carried on the business of the embassy credit- 
ably, until, upon the appointment of a new ambassador in 1595, she 
rejoined her husband in Paris, where he had been made governor of 
the Prince de Condi's son. Between this little Prince and 
Catherine de Vivonne a childish intimacy grew up, of which the , 
severe old military tutor did not wholly approve, " princes being 
animals who manage to escape only too soon," and Tallemant says 
that, being told the Prince had kissed Catherine, Monsieur de 
Pisani had him so vigorously chastised that he never could bear 
women afterwards. But the brave Marquis was kind as well as 
Strict, ^Jid young people enjoyed his company, provided always they 

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The H6tel Rambouillet. 353 

felt themselves to be quite dans la biensiance. He was not himself 
11 a savant, but he sought and appreciated the society of men of 

A year after his death, which took place in 1599, the little 
Catherine was married to Charles d'Angennes, whose title of Marquis 
de Rambouillet was derived from the cMteau and property belonging 
to his family situated in the village of the same name. As Monsieur 
de Rambouillet was twenty-three, or double his wife's age at the 
time of their marriage, she confessed to Tallemant des Rdaux after- 
wards, that she had at first looked upon him with a sort of awe as 
" a grown-up man," and " that she had never quite lost the feeling, 
and respected him in consequence all the more." But at any rate, in 
after life, when the apparent disparity of years dropped out of sight, 
this deferential sentiment became reciprocal, for Tallemant tells us 
" there never was a husband more desirous to please his wife in all 
things, with the one exception of law-suits," which he undertook and 
adhered to out of love of litigation, and could never be induced to 
abandon. " Madame de Rambouillet told me, too," says the same 
writer, " that her husband had always loved her with a lover's love 
and thought her cleverer than any other woman in the world ; and to 
tell the truth," says the old author, often so foul and spiteful in his 
insinuations about other women, but always loyal to his virtuous 
friend, " it was not hard for him to try and please her, for she never 
wanted anything but what was reasonable." 

It has been justly said that there are two aspects in which the por- 
trait of Madame de Rambouillet must be studied, neither of which can 
be overlooked without detriment to the other. The brilliant side of her 
life, in which she appears as Arth^nice, the queen of a select court, 
eager to offer her attentive homage in order to obtain her notice, careful 
to avoid banishment from her presence, and grateful for her appro- 
bation, has naturally attracted the greater attention ; but it should 
never be forgotten that the real Madame de Rambouillet, the Madame 
de Rambouillet who gave up going to Court soon after her twentieth 
birthday because she was disgusted and revolted by what she saw and 
Jieard there, was before all things a noble wife and a tender mother, a 
woman whose existence was one of the closest union with her hus- 
band in a home closed to the profane, surrounded by many children, 
prizing the joys of domestic life, and keenly sensitive to the sorrows 
J)y which such happiness is always attended. The relief from Court 
functions gave Madame de Rambouillet leisure to develop her 
intellect and cultivate her mind. She did not know Latin, like most 
of the Pr&ieuses — Madame de S^vign^, for instance, whp used tp 

• VOL. CCLI. NO. 1809. A A Digitized by Vii 

354 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

make her Virgil her travelling companion on her long journeys to 
visit her daughter in the South— but " she had intended once to learn 
it," says Tallemant, who seems to think the intention, if not so 
valuable as the accomplishment, of value at least in an apologetic 
sense. She knew Italian, of course, and French, and after her 
marriage she learnt Spanish, and set herself to work to study and 
read seriously. But her studies were not confined to books ; from 
the first it was her delight to form her own mind by contact with 
others of a superior order, and these she always gathered round her. 

The reunions were, of course, of gradual growth, and they had 
three marked phases, which correspond almost exactly to the chief 
phases of Madame de Rambouillet's domestic life. There was the 
first phase of preparation and construction, corresponding to the 
earlier years of her married life, when her children were born and 
growing up ; the next, the phase when the reunions were established 
and their influence steady and undisputed, Madame de Rambouil- 
let's children being grown up and taking some a more and some 
a less important part in society ; thirdly, the phase of decline and 
finally of dissolution, which corresponds to the demolition of Madame 
de Rambouillet's home by the death of her husband, and her separa- 
tion from her children : from some by death, from some by their 
marriage, from others by their religious vocation, and from one by 
her conduct and bad temper. These phases correspond also 
with historical periods ; the first and second with the closing 
years of the reign of Henry IV., and with the minority and reign of 
Louis XIII., when there was no power at Court which led or in- 
fluenced society ; the last phase with the war of the Fronde, 
which divided Paris into two camps, turned friends into enemies, 
and for a time dissolved society and involved everybody, either 
directly or indirectly, in faction or in the disastrous results ot 

The reunions had, in the absence of Court influence, as it were, 
an open field. There was no one to dispute Madame de Ram- 
bouillet's position as an arbitress of taste and focus of intellect. An 
accident of time, as well as the existence of a necessity, favoured the 
development of her position. In the reign of the Grand Monarque 
there would have been no such rival or even tributary court possible 
as that of the Hotel de Rambouillet Louis XIV., with that faculty 
for discerning and for assembling about him all the superior men in 
his kingdom — a faculty which he possessed to a degree equalled only 
perhaps in our Elizabeth — would by sheer force of his royal predomi- 
nance have disintegrated the court of Madame de Rambouillet and 

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The H6tel Rambouillet. 355 

attached her followers to himself. There was, however, when she first 
opened her doors, no intellectual influence either emanating from 
or attracting to the Court, and there was, on the other hand, a real 
need for some hospitable resort for men of letters, where they could 
assemble and meet their patrons, introduce their works, discuss literary 
subjects, fashion and polish language, and decide questions which 
could only be decided by a mixed assembly. Science has as much 
to learn as to teach in the formation of a language ; usage, le bel usage, 
as Vaugelas the poet called it, must be taken into account, and in 
Madame de Rambouillefs ruclle l princes of the blood and men of 
all ranks, and women of different ranks, met on a common ground; 
"duchesses visited her/' it was said, "although she was not a 
princess." She held the thread of conversation and prevented the 
monopoly of speech, while subjects of all kinds were suggested and 
handled. Often language was the subject ; vicious forms of locution 
were censured and better ones proposed, modifications in orthography 
were considered, some words were condemned as vulgar or antiquated, 
others rescued from disuse ; the pronunciation of others was fixed in 
forms which are still, in some cases, retained A little word, such 
as " car," would be defended and saved from being set aside as 
superfluous ; the word serge was henceforth not to be pronounced 
sarge, nor Rome and homme, Roume and houme. 

The Hdtel de Rambouillet has been called the " cradle of the 
Academy," because the work of the Academy was there anticipated. 1 
Others have said that Richelieu, jealous of Madame de Rambouillet's 
control of public opinion, founded it as a counterpoise. And 
although neither of these assertions may be altogether true, it is yet 
certain that the Academy existed de facto before Richelieu gave it a 
name and local habitation, and also that the intellectual wave to 
which it owed its origin, if it did not flow from the Hotel de Ram- 
bouillet, flowed through it, for the original members of the Academy 
were all of them at one time or other visitors at the Hotel. 

The charm of the reunions was their easiness. The hostess 
herself had the " bold courtesy which breeding gives," and was never 
afraid of committing herself or of perpetrating a solecism in good 
manners, for she made manners, and what she did became correct 

1 The word "ruelle" literally means "the space left between one side of the 
bed and the wall ; " in this space ladies of the seventeenth century were accus- 
tomed to receive their guests, the modern salon or drawing-room not having yet 
been invented ; hence the word "ruelle" was used for "reception." 

1 The Academie Francaise was founded in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu to 
"fix and polish the language." It is composed of forty members, and the first 
edition of the "Academy Dictionary" was published in 1694. 


356 The Gentleman f s Magazine. 

when she did it She was, moreover, a friend upon whom each one of 
her guests could count ; " she is the best of friends," says Tallemant ; 
" her guests are sure of the inviolability of her hospitality ; " and then 
he tells us that Richelieu sent Pfere Joseph one day to tell her that 
he was very anxious to serve her husband in some substantial way, but 
that in return he would ask her to do him a little favour ; it behoved 
a prime minister never to lose an opportunity of gaining information : 
would Madame de Rambouillet find out for him what intrigue 
Madame la Princesse and the Cardinal de la Valette were carrying on. 
"But," says Tallemant, "His Eminence had gone to the wrong 
person for treachery." " Father," she replied fearlessly, " I do not 
think they are carrying on any intrigues, but even if they were the 
trade of spy would not suit me." 

But it is time to describe the famous Blue Room where ArtMnice 
presided and received her guests. The original Hotel de Ram- 
bouillet, which stood where the modern Palais Royal now is, was 
sold to Richelieu, who reconstructed it, and called it the Palais 
Cardinal, and Monsieur and Madame de Rambouillet lived at the 
Hotel Pisani, Rue St. Thomas du Louvre (now Rue du Louvre), 
which was Madame de Rambouillet's inheritance from her father. It 
was an old-fashioned house, and inconveniently arranged, but well 
situated between the Hotel Chevreuse on the one side and the 
Hospice des Quinze Vingts l on the other. All the hotels in Paris, 
at this time, were arranged on one plan ; a hall at one side, a room at 
the other, and a staircase in the middle ; there was no such thing 
known as a suite of rooms ; " no one before Madame de Rambouillet 
had ever thought of putting the staircase in one of the angles of an 
hotel, so as to allow space for a suite of rooms," says Tallemant 

Innovations, as all who have an inventive genius like Madame de 
Rambouillet know by experience, which depend upon the co-opera- 
tion of tradesmen accustomed to work in one groove, are hard to 
accomplish. There is nothing more conservative in such matters 
than the usual workman, and much of the commonplace architecture 
and upholstery to which ordinary people submit is due to the 
resistance with which novel suggestions are met upon the part of 
those who execute manual labour. But Madame de Rambouillet 
was not an ordinary person, to be baffled by resistance. When altera- 
tions in the hotel were first suggested by Monsieur de Rambouillet, 

1 This Hospice de Quinze Vingts, built by some pious ladies whose husbands 
lost their eyes in the wars of the Crusades, was intended to hold three hundred, 
(fifteen times twenty) blind men and their families. It has been removed to the, 
Rue de Charenton, where it still exists under the same name. 

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The UStet RambouilleL 357 

architects were naturally consulted, but the plans they proposed 
proved unintelligent, and Madame de Rambouillet, who was, as 
Tallemant tells us, "a draughtswoman by nature, and could draw the 
plan from memory of any house she had once seen," made a design 
of her own. " She sat for a long time reflecting, one evening," says 
Tallemant, u and then suddenly called out, * Quick, quick ! bring me 
some paper ; I have found out how to manage what we want '; and 
then and there she drew out the plan," which Monsieur de Ram- 
bouillet approved, and which was afterwards studied, by the Queen's 
order, by her architects. The ceilings of the old hotel were also 
raised, by a contrivance of Madame de Rambouillet's own invention, 
and the doors and windows enlarged. 

The interior fa$ade of the house overlooked the Tuileries and the 
Carrousel, and the garden of the hotel, although small, was agree- 
able and open, as it touched on either side the respective gardens 
of the neighbouring houses. Into it opened the large windows 
(which were what we call " French " windows, down to the ground) 
of the Blue Room. The walls of this room were painted blue, whence 
the name by which it was always known, the colour being considered 
peculiar for walls. " She is the first person," says Tallemant, " who 
has ever thought of having walls painted any colour but red or tan." 
The furniture was blue velvet, embroidered with raised gold and 
silver work ; very splendid at first, but never renewed when it became 
shabby, for money was at no time an abundant commodity at the 
Hotel ; the law-suits of Monsieur de Rambouillet, his total want 
of order, as well as the great retinue of followers and servants 
always kept up, leaving little to spare, and even sometimes creating 
embarrassments in the princely household. This want of money 
was a privation to which Madame de Rambouillet was very sensi- 
tive. " She used to say," Tallemant tells us, " that she never could 
imagine how any one could call giving a pleasure fit for a king ; she 
thought it one fit for God Himself, and often regretted she had not 
the means of doing more for her friends." She did much for them, 
however, with the means at her disposal ; her delight was to surprise 
people with anonymous gifts, and unexpected f£tes arranged for their 

One may imagine a scene in the " Blue Room " when the sun 
shines in through the wide, new-fashioned windows. Arth&iice is 
never comfortable when the weather is too cold ; her Italian nature 
requires warmth, but unfortunately, however cold the weather, she 
can never approach the fire, to avoid which she has introduced, 
amongst other novelties, the Spanish alcove, now ^Otizl^g^^ja^ 

358 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

Paris. Here she remains seated in her bed, covered up in winter 
to keep herself warm, for fire heated her blood so that " under her 
delicate skin the bubbles actually became visible." " When required, 
there is always fire in the room for her friends' comfort, but to- 
day the spring sunshine is enough, and the room, like Cl&mire's in 
Mademoiselle de Scuddry's Cyrus, is full of flowers in diverse great 
baskets, perfuming the air with their fragrance." Cldomire is Madame 
de Rambouillet, and her abode " is like nothing else in the world ; 
everything which surrounds her is magnificent ; cabinets filled with 
rare objects show the exquisite taste of her who presides ; even the 
lamps are peculiar. Near her one feels as if one were in some 
place of enchantment" To-day, as usual, she is surrounded by 
those for whom " this divinity condescends to become human." She 
listens to everyone's solicitations and desires, and in her replies makes 
no distinction except that of worth. Balzac speaks now. The word 
u Urbanity " is often repeated in his .discourse, and sounds strange 
to unaccustomed ears in its French garb. It was, he says, a word in 
use among the Romans — the ancestors, as he reminds his listeners, 
of ArtWnice; they were people who understood urbanity and practised 
it. He describes their politeness, the stately grace with which they 
performed the commonest actions. Their laughter even, he says, 
was full of dignity. 

The tone and gesture give expression to the words. Arth6iice, 
everyone knows, is his model, who gives Paris the pattern of Roman 
urbanity. She smiles at the poet with a dignity worthy of the Republic, 
not displeased, but changing the subject so soon as the fate of the 
word in question, which she and the company approve, and which is 
destined henceforward to enrich the French language, is sealed. 
She speaks of the "Cid" of Corneille, which Richelieu and the 
Academy profess to underrate ; the discussion grows eager ; the 
points of the poem are criticised, and certain lines repeated, which 
some of the company either remember or wrote down when Monsieur 
Corneille read it in the Blue Room. Madame de Rambouillet 
predicts the eventual triumph of the poet over his detractors. Then 
the conversation becomes general amongst the guests, and life and 
animation increase. The ladies have arm-chairs, the literary men 
stools, from which, in the heat of their admiration or controversy, 
they rise ; the men of fashion stand, or recline, or sit on the floor on 
their silken and velvet mantles, which they spread at the feet of ladies, 
each of whom deserves not a paragraph or page merely, but a book 
or article to herself. 

We have already said that the growth of the reunions was gradual, 

The H6tel Rambouillet. 359 

and it must also be remembered that they lasted fifty years, and 
underwent the natural transformations of time. At first the Hotel de 
Rambouillet was the only house in Paris always open to receive, or 
where, in the language of the day, " company was held " ; but soon 
there were many imitations of the Blue Room, and it became the 
fashion for ladies to have their respective reception days, of which, 
after the original model, the most famous was the Saturday of 
Mademoiselle de Scude'ry. With few exceptions, all the best known 
literary characters attended, at different times, Madame de Ram- 
bouillet's receptions. Corneille came, as we have seen, and " le petit 
Bossuet," the future " Eagle of Meaux," was brought to the hotel when 
he was sixteen, preceded by his precocious reputation as a preacher, 
and gave, by request, a sermon after only half an hour's preparation ; 
the sermon of which Voiture said, in allusion to the orator's youth 
and the hour of the night at which he preached, that he had never 
heard one before " so late and yet so early." 

Amongst the most constant visitors were the four poets, 
Malherbe, Gombault, Racan, and Vaugelas, who gave their hostess the 
name of Arth^nice, an anagram of Catherine ; but afterwards, when 
some one had the audacity to call another Catherine by the name, 
Malherbe wrathfully claimed it as his sole invention, devised that 
the most honoured of ladies might be sung by poets without the 
secret of her name being betrayed to the vulgar. Segrais called her 
Arthe'nice the "beneficent," Manage (that tutor of Madame de 
Se'vigne' and Madame de Lafayette and other great ladies, whose 
habit it always was to fall in love with his pupils) called her the 
11 admirable," Voiture the " divine," and with this lofty adjective the 
series closed, because none beyond could be imagined. Then, in 
succession, the Blue Room received Scarron, afterwards the husband 
of Madame de Maintenon, but Scarron young and with both his 
legs ; the Abb£ Cottin, the king's preacher, Huet, the learned Bishop 
of Avranches, Chapelain, the author of " La Pucelle," that poem " bien 
beau mats bien ennuyeux" as Madame de Longueville called it, which 
it took thirty years to write, Balzac, Voiture, Conrart, le tyran dcs 
belles lettresy and first Secretary of the Academy, Godeau, Bishop of 
Vence, the faithful friend of the De Rambouillet family, who always 
showed to best advantage in days of sorrow, Georges de Scude'ry 
and his sister Madelaine, the Prince de Conde', Richelieu, first as 
Armand du Plessis, Monsieur de Chaudebonne, his brother Monsieur 
d'Aiguebonne, the Mare'chal de Guiche (one of the many suitors for 
the hand of the fair Julie d'Angennes), the Chevalier d'Albret, famous 
for his duels and his esprit, de Brancas, de Blairamont, de Villeneuve, 

360 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

Arnauld d'Andilly, and de Montausier, of whom more presently as 
the lover of Julie and the hero of the courtship so renowned in the 
Rambouillet annals. 

All the most remarkable women of the seventeenth century, as 
rich in women great in intellect as the century of the Revolution was 
in women great in courage, assembled in the Blue Room. 

Madame la Princesse de Conde' and her daughter, afterwards 
Madame de Longueville, the future heroine of the Fronde, and 
" friend " of de la Rochefoucauld, and finally the noble if mistaken 
penitent of Port Royal ; Madame de Lavergne and her daughter, 
afterwards Madame de Lafayette, the authoress of novels, the 
Princesse de Cleves and Zaide, the simple style of which created 
a new epoch in the history of romance writing : she, as well as 
Madame de Longueville, was one of de la Rochefoucauld's " friends," 
the last he had, and, until revelations made a year ago through 
the publication of her correspondence with Madame Royale, 
Regent of Savoy, which show that she was always an intriguing 
and active political agent, for two centuries enjoyed the reputa- 
tion of having lived " suspended between heaven and earth" 
in a state of constant nervous invalidism which made business of 
any kind a greater fatigue than her fragility could bear ; and 
Madame de Sable*, that quaint mixture of devotion, greediness, 
intellect, and sentiment whom Julie d'Angennes had the misfortune 
to offend, first because she did not ask her to her wedding, and then 
because she excused herself by saying she knew Madame de Sabld 
was not "portable" : Madame de Sable*, who always promised "to 
go into devotion when her first wrinkles should appear," who 
helped de la Rochefoucauld to revise his Maxims, and gave him her 
precious receipts for the dishes no one else could make, who taught 
her friends how to be dainty artistically, and the latter years of 
whose life, after the wrinkles came, were spent at Port Royal (for 
she too was a Jansenist, without the austerity, be it understood), 
and whose mind, when not busy with the intellectual works of her 
friends, was occupied by plans for avoiding draughts and chills in 
order to ward off death and attain earthly immortality. Madame 
de Se'vigne', too, the most charming of women and of letter-writers, 
graced the assemblies, as Mademoiselle de Chantal first, then as a 
young wife with her worthless but beloved husband, then as a widow 
sorrowing but fortunate in his early death; Mademoiselle de 
Scude'ry, the authoress of Clelia ; Mademoiselle Paulet, la lionne as 
she was called on account of her fiery nature, her piercing eyes, and 
her "too golden" hair; and, next in importance to Madame de 

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The H$tel Rambouillet 361 

Rambouillet herself, the famous Julie d'Angennes, between whom 
and her mother existed one of those rare and exquisite friendships, 
founded upon the strongest of natural ties, cemented by harmony of 
taste and perfected by sympathetic habit, which sometimes exist 
between mother and daughter. It has been long a point of dispute 
whether Mademoiselle d'Angennes was or was not the butt of 
Molifere's satire in the persons of Armande and the PricUuses 
Ridicules, mainly because she did not accept the hand of Monsieur 
de Salles, Marquis de Montausier, until he had paid her his addresses 
for thirteen years. For our own part, the discussion is one which 
we are not inclined to enter upon at any length. Suffice it to say 
that, although Mademoiselle d'Angennes knew Mademoiselle de 
Scud&y's Cl&ia and its carte du tendre, and was not one of those 
persons " incongrues en galanterie " whom Cathos holds in contempt 
because they are capable of " beginning with marriage," we believe 
it to be totally inconsistent with her character to suppose her con- 
sciously guilty of the petty prudery and coquetry which Molifere's 
heroines caricatured, and that his satire was aimed, not at the model, 
but at the unsuccessful imitations. 

The position which Julie d'Angennes held in her father's house 
might well have satisfied any woman's heart and ambition. That 
house was the centre of intellect, and she was upon a pinnacle 
surrounded by admiration and deference, and adored by her mother, 
whom in return she worshipped. She had for Monsieur de Mon- 
tausier a sincere regard, and no doubt his constancy and homage 
were agreeable to her, but she did not feel towards him that over- 
mastering sentiment which would irresistibly have attracted her to 
him from her mother's side ; and when she did at last consent to marry 
him, it was as much because she yielded to general and persevering 
pressure as from affection. Montausier was, however, a lover who 
deserved to be rewarded. He was constant, brave, and manly. It 
sounded fine, no doubt, to ears accustomed to the romantic Scud&y 
language of the day to say that he " languished and died for love every 
day for thirteen years," but in reality, although as faithful a suitor 
as ever wooed and won a maid, he was never love-sick. He fought 
in Spain and Flanders, he voluntarily exiled himself from Julie for 
months together in Alsace, of which province he was governor, 
during the thirteen years, and was all the time resolute, active, 
busy, as well as tender. " Mademoiselle de Rambouillet had many 
lovers," says Tallemant, "and few women since Helen have had 
their beauty sung as she has, although a beauty she never was ; but 
when she was young, and not too thin, her figure and complexion 

362 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

were good ; she danced well, was graceful and spirited 

Voiture, the poet, was one of those who loved her, and when 
asked he refused to make any verses for the Guirlande, perhaps 
because he was jealous, perhaps because he did not choose to have 
his verses herded with other people's." 

The Guirlande to which Voiture would not contribute was 
an offering which Montausier made to Julie on her f§te day, 
which fell on the 22nd May. It was a collection of sixty- two 
short poetical pieces, sixteen of which are by Montausier himself, 
one by M. de Rambouillet, the others by various authors — 
Tallemant des Rdaux (the author of the Historiettes we have so 
repeatedly quoted here), Chapelain, Godeau, Gombaud, Georges 
de Scud6y, and several anonymous authors, one of whom may be 
Corneille. Each poem bears the name of a flower ; the pages of the 
book, ninety in number, exclusive of the elaborate frontispieces, were 
vellum; twenty-nine of them were illuminated with floral designs 
by Robert, a celebrated painter of the day, and the verses were all 
written out by Nicholas Jarry, famous for his beautiful handwriting. 
The book was bound in morocco, red inside as well as outside, and 
profusely ornamented with the cypher J.L. (Julie Lucine) in fine gold 
lines ; the loose outside cover was of frangipani, a kind of scented 
leather made specially for such purposes. The precious book, after 
having passed through various hands — having been sold, and even 
having been for a time in England — has been fortunately recovered by 
the descendants of Julie's daughter, Madame d'Uzfcs, and is now in the 
possession of the Duke d'Uzfes. Another fact, which has been over- 
looked in the discussions about Julie's obduracy, is that Montausier 
himself was too proud to urge his suit until he was rich enough to 
have substantial advantages as well as his love and homage to 
offer. He did not insist upon a decided answer until he was invested 
with the government of Xaintonge and Angoumois, in addition to 
that of Alsace, which he already held. He was a Protestant, moreover, 
and finding that his religion was an obstacle in the way of his 
marriage, he became a Catholic, to the great satisfaction of both 
Madame de Rambouillet and Julie. Tallemant is not a romantic 
witness, but romance is seldom an unalloyed sentiment, and perhaps 
his version of Julie's sentiments contains some grain of truth. " Once 
she made up her mind to it," he says, " she accepted him with a 

very good grace He sent Mdlle. Paulet, Madame de 

Sabte, and Madame d'Aiguillon, to talk to her about it for him ; 
upon her part, she esteemed but did not love him. Madame 
d'Aiguillon said to her, 'Ma fille, ma fille, there is nothing like 

The H6tel Rambouillet. 363 

marriage ; it makes one pious.' Then the Queen herself 

sent her a message, the Cardinal (Richelieu) came and talked to her, 
and finally her own mother complained of her being hard; this 
settled the matter, for Mdlle. de Rambouillet was so much afraid of 
annoying her mother that she made up her mind between bed-time 
and morning. In the evening she was as fixed as ever against it, 
and said, ' If I had been going to do it at all, it should have been done 
out of love for him without any of his governments.' But I think 
she took also into consideration how agreeable it would be to re- 
appear as a bride instead of being an old maid, and of the importance 
it would give her, and the additional weight her opinion would have." 

Godeau, Bishop of Vence — " Julie's dwarf," as he was called, be- 
cause of his diminutive stature, and because he was always following 
Mdlle. d'Angennes about — gave the nuptial benediction* Montausier 
not only made an excellent husband, but his devotion to his wife 
extended to her whole family, and, when deprived of other support 
and consolation, in him Madame de Rambouillet found not only the 
affection of a son, but the guidance of a counsellor. She lost both 
her own sons prematurely ; one died in childhood of the plague, and 
the elder, who inherited the Pisani title, was killed at the battle of 
Nordlingen, whither, in spite of serious deformity, the result of a fall 
when out at nurse, he insisted upon going. " His face," Tallemant tells 
us, "as well as his figure was affected by the deformity, but he was 
good-hearted, and more successful with ladies than many better-built 
men," He was, moreover, full of fun, and with his particular friend 
Voiture kept the whole house alive, and was " for ever busy with 
him, devising some nonsense which made every one laugh." He 
tells us, too, that he looked strange and out of place amongst his 
people; father, mother, sisters, were all tall : only Pisani, who had 
come into the world " as white and straight " as any of the others, 
" was crooked and short" 

The rest of Madame de Rambouillet's seven children were girls. 
Julie, the eldest, was only sixteen years younger than her mother. 
Louise Isabelle and Charlotte Catherine, her second and fourth 
daughters, became nuns, and only occasionally visited Paris after 
once — not without Montausier's help— they were peacefully settled 
in their respective convents. Louise Isabelle, Abbess of St. Etienne 
at Rheims, was something like Madame de Montausier, clever, gay, 
caressing ; her nuns at first resisted her authority, but Montausier 
appeased them by his humanity ', and at first, for his sake, they sub- 
mitted to his gentle sister-in-law, whom afterwards they learned to 
love for her owa " Montausier," says Tallemant, " is a most humane 

364 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

person, as well as clean and orderly; .... when his valets were 111 
they were always cared for at his expense, and he gave them money ; 
but he had some reason to repent his humanity to the nuns, for 
those excellent ladies assassinated him afterwards with corre- 

Charlotte Catherine became Abbess of Yeres, near Paris, after her 
sister Claire Diane was deposed from the office. " If," says Tallemant, 
" Monsieur and Madame de Rambouillet had only known before- 
hand all the trouble the Abbey of Yeres would give them, they would 
not have taken all the pains they did to obtain it." Claire Diane 
was by nature of a violent and rebellious temper, and she no sooner 
arrived at Yeres than she defied all authority and refused the 
control of either priest or parent ; she wasted the convent revenues, 
involved the finances, and shut up the chapel ; no choir offices were 
recited, no mass was said, and no confessor admitted. Her sisters 
Louise Isabelle and Charlotte Catherine had accompanied her to 
Yeres, but she treated them so disgracefully that Montausier had to 
come to the rescue and carry them home again. Finally, disorder 
reached the climax when the Abbess herself left the convent, with 
three-fourths of the total amount of what remained of the annual 
revenue, and went to live in furnished rooms in Paris. In the hope 
of introducing reform by the strength of example, some nuns of the 
Visitation (an order recently founded by St Francis de Sales and 
Madame de Chantal) were sent to Yeres ; but not only was a cabal 
made at the instigation of the superioress, to prevent them from 
keeping their rule, but they were refused food, and would have been 
reduced to starvation if friends from the outside had not contrived to 
supply their necessities. The Abbey was, as it happened, under the 
direct control of the Holy See, to which as well as to Parliament an 
appeal was made against the Abbess, to obtain her deposition; 
whereupon she issued a libellous factum, accusing her family of plotting 
against her because she had refused to make one of her sisters her 
coadjutrix and had tried to make both conform to the rule of their 
order. This factum was answered in detail in an anonymous 
pamphlet, written it is supposed by Madame de Rambouillet herself, 
in which the honour of the family was vindicated with patience and 
dignity. A decree for the deprivation of the Abbess, who had now 
returned to her convent, was issued by Parliament, but by physical 
force alone could she be made to move, and in the struggle she 
resisted so violently that two of her ribs were fractured, as she said, 
by the officers' brutality. She was removed to a convent in Paris, 
Rue St. Antoine, where she died in 1690. 

The H6tel Rambouillet. 365 

The remaining daughter, Claire Ang&ique, was also destined by 
her parents for the religious life ; but after staying at a convent for a 
short time, she gave up the idea of being a nun, came back to the 
H6tel Rambouillet, and married Monsieur de Grignan, afterwards 
well known as the son-in-law of Madame de S£vign£, whose daughter 
was his third wife. She died in 1664, leaving two sons and a husband, 
who sought consolation at first in a Carthusian monastery, and found 
it afterwards in matrimony. 

Madame de Grignan had a caustic wit, or, as Mademoiselle de 
Scud&y says of her in her " Grand Cyrus," where Claire Ang&ique 
figures under the name of Anacrise, "a goodness of heart which did 
not happen to be of the sort which scruples to make war upon 
friends. She is truly redoubtable, for in my opinion no one in the 
world can equal her in delicate raillery. In all she utters there is such 
simplicity and yet so much imagination, and whether it be pleasant 
or malicious, she says everything with such perfect ease and with 
such an appearance of utter negligence and absence of forethought, 
that no one could guess she .... never says anything but what she 
intends to say, and always produces exactly the effect she means to 
produce. Few things satisfy her, or persons please her, because her 
taste is very peculiar and exquisite . . . But even her dissatisfaction 
affords entertainment, for her exaggerated description of the tedium 
of a day spent in the country, or of an afternoon passed in poor 
company, is so charming and so agreeable that one admires her for 
having the wit to be more difficult in her taste than ordinary people." 

Each one of the de Rambouillet family had gifts and talents ; 
each had that indefinable quality esprit, by right of which they might 
respectively have claimed admission to their mother's circle, if the 
accident of birth had not given them a still securer right All had 
not, as we have seen, agreeable characters ; but Madame de Ram- 
bouillet could govern without irritating those she ruled. She was 
sensitive, morally as well as physically, in the highest degree. " A 
rough word, a want of refinement, as well as any excess of cold or 
heat or light, caused her positive pain." And there is no education 
to loving hearts like that of constant companionship with a person of 
such organisation. Tact becomes the habit of life, and we have 
seen that rather than give her mother pain Julie d'Angennes con- 
sented to leave her. Her refinement was one of the only two defects 
Tallemant could ever discover in Madame de Rambouillet; the other 
was her pride in the Savelli family. She could not bear a coarse 
expression, which " suggested ugly thoughts to her ; " and her 
delicacy was so well known that everyone respected her presence f 

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366 The Gentletnatis Magazine. 

and gradually a reform in conversation was effected. The word 
"obscenity n is introduced because decency begins to be understood, 
and Tallemant thinks Madame de Rambouillet a shade too particular 
" even with her husband " in the choice of her expressions. The con- 
versation is modest, regular, as well as brilliant, and even galanterie 
respects the Blue Room. The guests of Arthe'nice are too much 
honoured by admission to her presence to risk banishment from it. 
She is no Pharisee, however, and her friendship for Mademoiselle 
Paulet shows that she is willing to reach out a helping hand to an 
erring sister. Her greatest pleasure is to prepare surprises; to 
build a room, and introduce her unsuspecting friends to it when 
it is finished and furnished for their reception ; to receive them at 
her country house, the Chateau de Rambouillet, with a procession 
of village girls crowned with flowers ; or to introduce them to an 
avenue lined with living statues, which descend from their pedestals 
and dance. 

But, with the Fronde, the innocent gaiety, the leisure for civilisa- 
tion, was broken up, and Paris became a city of division. The de 
Rambouillets stayed in the Rue St Thomas until a short time 
before the Barricades, and then withdrew to their chateau in the 
country. When their return to Paris was again possible, Monsieur 
de Rambouillet had become very blind, and yet nothing would 
induce him to confess his infirmity, and allow himself to be con- 
ducted, so that watching him became a constant strain upon the tact 
and affection of those about him. Nor had the hostile feeling subsided 
in Paris, and society upon the old easy footing was still impossible. 

In 1652 Monsieur de Rambouillet died, and the separation after 
fifty years of married life was a terrible blow to his widow, although 
consolation in her need did not fail her. "She told me," says 
Tallemant, "with tears in her eyes, she who scarcely ever weeps, that 
Mademoiselle Paulet had been a great comfort to her." Her son-in- 
law, M. de Montausier, was most disinterested, and told Madame de 
Rambouillet that so long as she lived she was to dispose of everything, 
and that he would touch none of the property which fell by inherit- 
ance to his wife. At the Hotel, Madame de Montausier had her late 
father's rooms arranged for herself and her husband, that they might 
occupy them and be near Madame de Rambouillet as much as 
possible; and when the apartment was ready, and everything 
finished, to spare her mother the pain of breaking down before 
witnesses at the sight of the once-familiar rooms, she would allow no 
one, not even kind Montausier himself, to be present at her first visit 
to them. Upon another occasion there was some amicable strife 

Digitized by 


The H6tel Ratnbouillet. 367 

between Madame de Rambouillet and her model son-in-law. Some 
money long due to him from the Treasury as Governor of 
Xaintonge was paid in, and, as her income was in arrears, he insisted 
upon her taking it This, however, she refused to do. " My grand- 
mamma," said little Julie de St. Maure, Julie's daughter, who was 
always saying sharp things, "you say my papa is obstinate, but / 
think it is you who are a great deal the more obstinate of the two." 

Madame de Rambouillet had a religious mind, and as age gently 
advanced, sparing her " all shocking incoramodities," and leaving 
her the beauty of her person and the clearness of her mind to the 
last, religion became her greatest comfort. She who, like Moliere's 
pattern savante, had had " du savoir sans vouloir qtion U sut" and 
who had been rarely guilty of authorship, composed many prayers 
which Jany copied out fair for her. She lived to see Madame 
de Montausier appointed governess of the Dauphin, 1 her grandchild 
Julie Maure de Saint Maure married to a son of the Duke D'Usfes, 
and her daughter Madame de Grignan die ; and in 1665, at the age of 
seventy-seven, she also died. 

She was buried in the Church of the Carmelites, Faubourg St 
Antoine. "She had," said Godeau the Bishop of Vence, "the 
heart of a Christian and Roman," and she died without fear, and 
without regret for the world. Her life had presented in many 
respects the appearance of unusual success and happiness, but she 
had known the bitterness of sorrow : it would have been strange 
if a woman with her nature had escaped the common lot of those 
who love and feel. Of some of her sorrows we know something, 
others remain hidden. She almost forgot in her later years that 
there had ever been any joy for her in life, and wrote for herself 
an epitaph which Manage preserved in his commentaries upon 
Malherbe's poetry, and in which she struck that mournful note, 
universa vam'tas, which the great men of the world and the preachers 
of all ages have so often sounded : 

Here lies Arthenice, freed from the rigours 
With which rigorous fate has always pursued her ; 
And if, oh ! passer-by, thou wouldst reckon her sorrows, 
Thou needst but to reckon the number of her days. 


1 Madame de Montausier became governess of the Dauphin in 1661, and died 
in 1 67 1, it is said, of a broken heart because, deceived herself by the King as 
to the nature of his relations with Madame de Montespan, she had in her turn 
unwittingly betrayed the Queen's trust in her. The discovery of the King's 
treachery, and the revelation that in serving him she had been unconsciously 
assisting him to deceive the Queen, so preyed upon Madame de Montausier's 
mind that she gradually fell into a state of ill-health, from which she never 
recovered, and which ended in her death. ^M^> 

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368 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


IF the question which heads this chapter were put to the general 
public, nine-tenths would probably look upon it in the light o* 
a riddle, whilst the small contingent remainder, strong in the belief 
that histories for the people partake of the nature of inspired writings, 
would confidently answer, " At Faversham Abbey." And yet the 
question remains, Where really reposes the body of one of the 
greatest and most unhappy of England's kings ? 

Let us go back to the old chronicles for information. Of course 
the Gesta Stefani will not assist, because they end soon after the 
death of Prince Eustace, which was probably also his father's death- 
blow ; Capgrave's " Chronicle of England " bears this testimony : 
" Stevene the Kyng dyed the VIII. Kalend of April, byried at Fevers- 
ham, which hous he mad." That this date is utterly wrong it is un- 
necessary to say ; innumerable authorities place the decease as more 
than six months later, notably Diceto and Henry of Huntingdon. 
Next we come to that portion of the chronicle usually attributed to 
William of Malmesbury, which was properly due to the care of the 
learned Prior of Belvoir known as Roger of Wendover, who died in 
the monastery of St Albans, 6th May, 1227. He speaks thus: 
" The same year died the brave and pious King Stephen, on the 
25th of October ; his body was buried in the monastery of Faversham, 
which he had himself founded, and where, a short time before, his 
wife Matilda and Eustace their son had been buried. " In each of 
these cases it should be noted that reference is made to the year 
a.d. 1 1 54 and to the old-style reckoning. 

After this we get little information which can be taken as bearing 
upon the subject in any decisive manner. Perhaps the most impor- 
tant note is that made by Sir Richard Baker, of whom that first of 
gentlemen, Sir Roger de Coverley, thought so highly. He says that 
the great English King died suddenly in the monastery at Dover, 
25th October, 11 54, immediately after an interview — the object of 
^hich is not disclosed— with " Theodorik, Earl of Flaqders," an4 

Digitized by 


Where was King Stephen Buried? 369 

was buried at Faversham. But here comes in the question. Was he 
really so buried? It seems evident that the death was sudden and 
unexpected, even though the cause be unknown ; it is by no means 
improbable that it may have been the result of some disease which 
rendered immediate burial necessary ; and even waiving this suppo- 
sition, the troubled state of the realm would have been a sufficient 
reason for an immediate and secret burial by King Stephen's followers 
of the body of that master whom all worshipped and would have 
been eager to shield from all possible profanation. 

And the facts seem to be these, viz.: that some seven centuries 
were to elapse before the true resting place of the chivalrous Count 
of Blois, "saint, scholar, soldier, and statesman/' as was said of a yet 
more noble English hero, should be found. This is how it was 
found, in such a manner as must carry conviction to the minds 
of all who are not determined against conviction. In Dover there 
is an old church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin; it contains 
some of perhaps, the finest Early Norman work — apart from the chapel 
in the Tower of London — existing in this country. In the year 1843 
it was found necessary to relay the pavement at the west end of the 
nave of this church, and in raising the flags for that purpose a sin- 
gular discovery was made. It must be borne in mind that to the 
south of the site to be spoken of an altar had originally stood — from 
its position it can hardly have been the high altar, though even that is 
possible, as orientation was originally held to depend upon the special 
position of the sanctuary. However, the explorers came upon what 
has been described as "the softened remains of a heavy four- inch 
oaken sea-chest ; inclosing a fine, shapely, trefoil-headed lead coffin, 
about five feet long." Time had loosened the covering of this latter, 
and when, with pardonable curiosity, it was raised, there was disclosed 
the figure of a man of small but athletic proportions, in a singular state 
of preservation. The verger, who was present on the occasion, and 
from whose lips I derive much of my information, assured me that 
the perfume of the embalmment pervaded the whole church when the 
coffin was opened ; I had this from him when visiting Dover with 
the Royal Archaeological Institute — of which I was then secretary— 
in the year 1878. I must return to the words of the worthy Vicar, 
the Rev. John Puckle, M.A., who has done all in his power to pre* 
serve the memory of the great Stephen : " The thick brown hair, 
moustache, whiskers, and pointed beard, were in natural condition. 
The integument and fibre of the flesh were changed in little other than 
colour (dark olive) ; which became in no way affected by contact with 
the outer air ; the preservation being due to such a costly embalming 

VOL. CCLI, NO. 1809, B B 

$79 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

as one only reads of in rare regal interments." Now the question 
Arises, Was this the embalmed body of King Stephen, hastily deposited 
in the church of the town where he avowedly died, and never after 
removed, first, on account of the national troubles, then because of 
forgetfulness? Everything tends to prove this to be the case. At 
the time two experts from the British Museum were summoned to 
inspect the body — of which it may be remarked that Mr. Puckle, 
himself no mean artist, made a drawing — and the result of their 
researches tended to show that this was the body of Stephen of Blois. 
There was but one other noted person recorded as having died at 
Dover — he was an unnamed follower of Mary of Scotland ; but inas- 
much as he was as deformed as David Rizzio, this soldierly corpse 
could not have been his ; and it is worthy of note that the beautiful 
sad face is that which we have always been shown as that of King 
Stephen. Whether or not his heart lay in the now desecrated and 
vanished abbey of Faversham matters little. There was a time when 
the heart of Richard Coeur de Lion was one of the treasures of the 
Rouen Museum ; we cannot even guess where sleeps Harold God- 
winson ; but let us at least cherish the resting-places of those amongst 
our heroes whose last bed we can identify. There is a talk of placing 
a brass to mark the spot where lies that great and unhappy king whose 
reign will for ever be remembered by the Battle of the Standard. 


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The Induction Balance and President Garfield's Wound. 

" T'M a practical man; I don't care for your theories, I judge by 
JL results. 1 ' Such is the declaration that commonly issues from 
the mouths of the shallowest and most short-sighted, in fact, the 
most unpractical of human beings. To such men the wondrous 
movements of a radiometer have no interest unless they can turn a 
grindstone. Men of intelligence^ endowed with soundly practical 
intellects, even though no scientific experts, are able to under- 
stand that the discovery of broad natural truths, />., great scientific 
laws or principles, must precede their practical application, 
and that any such discovery, however recondite it may at first 
appear, may sooner or later become of practical value. This 
has been remarkably illustrated in the application of Hughes's 
induction balance by the surgeons attending President Garfield, 
whose condition is watched with such filial anxiety by every true 

Turning to the paper read by Prof. Hughes at the Royal Society 
on May 15, 1879, 1 & n & that ^ e defines his researches as an "attempt 
to investigate the molecular construction of metals and alloys." That 
a purely philosophical inquiry into such molecular mysteries should 
have enabled the surgeon to ascertain the position and dimensions of 
a bullet lodged in the human body, and to do so without any probing 
or even touching the wound itself, — thereby saving a vast amount 
of torture, —is only one more added to the multitude of instances 
of purely scientific researches undertaken without any so-called 
"practical" object, having led to important practical results. 
The whole history of modern civilisation is simply a collection of 
such instances. 

Without entering upon details that would be interesting only to 
electricians, I may state that when a current of electricity is started 
along a wire, it induces a current in an opposite direction along 
another wire that is near to it, and that such a secondary current may 
be used to excite a telephone or enable it to communicate any given 


372 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

sound. It will be easily understood that two such currents 
made to neutralise each other, if they are exactly equal and pass in 
contrary directions. 

Prof. Hughes's induction balance is so constructed that there shall 
be two such balancing currents so attached to a telephone that the 
silence of the latter shall indicate the exact balance of the currents. 
Anything disturbing this balance by giving preponderance to one or 
other of the currents brings forth a sound, and the magnitude of the 
disturbance can be measured by balancing it with another disturber 
acting in contrawise. 

A piece of metal is such a disturber, and its disturbing power 
depends on its dimensions and composition. Thus, silver chemically 
pure, of the size and form of a shilling, produces a disturbance 
(on the scale fixed by Prof Hughes) equal to 125 degrees, while 
a shilling itself gives only 115 degrees, the difference being due 
to the copper in the alloy. On the same scale, the disturbance 
due to copper = 100 ; zinc = 80 ; lead = 38 ; bismuth = 10. So 
definite are the disturbances due to given quality and quantity of 
metal, that a magiqai divination may be made, which is thus described 
by Prof. Hughes : " If a person puts one or several coins into one 
pair of coils, the amount or nominal value being unknown to myself, 
I have only to introduce into the opposite coils different coins 
successively, as I should weights into a scale, and when perfect 
balance is announced by the silence, the amount in one box will not 
only be of the same nominal value, but of the same kind of coin." 

Again, he says " If we take two English shilling-pieces fresh from 
the Mint, and if they are absolutely identical in form, weight, and 
material, they will be completely balanced by placing one of each in 
the two separate cells, provided that for these experiments there is 
an adjustable resting-place in each pair of coils, so that each coin 
may lie exactly in the centre of the vacant space between the primary 
and secondary coils. If, however, these shillings are in the slightest 
degree worn, or have a different temperature, we at once perceive 
this difference, and, if desired, measure it by the sonometer, or by 
lifting the supposed heaviest coin at a slight distance from the fixed 
centre line, the amount of degrees that the heaviest coin is withdrawn 
will show its relative mass or weight as compared with the lightest. 
I have thus been able to appreciate the difference caused by simply 
rubbing the shilling between the fingers, or the difference of tempera- 
ture by simply breathing near the coils." 

This being possible, the determination of the presence or absence 
of such a mass of metal as a bullet, and the finding of its exact 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Science Notes. 373 

position inside the body, merely demands a modification of the 
apparatus. The bullet cannot be brought like the shilling to the 
coils, but the coils connected by long wires with the rest of the 
instrument may be brought near to the bullet on either side, and the 
moment when it is equidistant between them determined. This can 
be further checked by a balancing bullet correspondingly situated in 
reference to the other fixed couple of coils, as in the balancing of the 
coins, excepting that in the surgical use it is the distance of the 
disturbing metal that is the main object of determination. 

This method of superseding the painful and dangerous probing of a 
healing wound does in surgery what the stethoscope does in medicine 
for the diagnosis of lung disease. The analogy to the stethoscope is 
curiously complete, for in both cases hearing takes the place of 
vision ; the ear, aided by science, is enabled to see that which is 
invisible to the eye. 

Ozone at the Seaside. 

NOW that we are all at the seaside, something about ozone is 
seasonable, especially seaside ozone. The idea that the air 
over the ocean is more highly charged with ozone than that over 
the land has been much disputed, and yet the general properties ot 
what we call " sea airfare quite in accordance with the hypothesis 
that it contains more than an average supply of this active form of 

I have a theory of my own on the subject, which I will hereby 
communicate. It was suggested thus : 

Walking on the Deal beach at night with a stout stick in my 
hand, I observed flashes^of pale light whenever I thrust the end of 
the stick forcibly into the shingle. The nature of the action was 
soon discovered. The stick, in forcing its way among the pebbles, 
caused some of them to rub against each other. 

This reminded me of an experiment of my schoolboy day?, 
when I carried a couple of quartz pebbles (" milk stones " we called 
them) in my pocket, in order to astonish my schoolfellows and others 
by " flashing fire " in the dark. This was done by pressing the 
stones together as firmly as possible, and then rubbing them one 
against the other. A considerable amount of light is given out at 
the surfaces of contact, sufficient to illuminate the whole of the 
translucent pebbles. 

The experiment did not end here. The next part consisted in 
smelling the "sulphur" on the rubbed surfaces. With the recollection 

igi ize y g 

374 2^* Gentleman's Magazine. 

of the flash in the schoolboy experiment came that of the so-called 
sulphurous odour, which, although so long forgotten, at once sug- 
gested the odour of the electric machine which led Schonbein to the 
discovery of ozone. 

I then picked up some of the flint pebbles, rubbed them as of 
yore, saw the flash, and smelt the " sulphur," which I now recognized 
as ozone. 

If ozone be thus generated by the rubbing together of siliceous 
pebbles, the dashing of the waves upon the shore, and the rattling of 
the shingle pebbles or rubbing of sand particles together, may explain 
the origin of the ozone that has been found in the spray of the waves 
that break on the shore. 

The Passivity of Iron. . 

THIS subject has lately been brought before the French Acade- 
micians by M. L. Varenne. Eut many readers will ask what 
it means. It is this : 

Nitric acid acts very powerfully on most metals, dissolving them 
furiously with evolution of pungent red fumes. Iron is thus attacked, 
but it behaves in a manner that appears rather, capricious. Under 
certain conditions it becomes proof against the violent chemical 
energies of nitric acid, and the acid behaves like mere water. The 
iron is then said to be passive. Generally speaking, iron becomes 
passive at once, if dipped in concentrated nitric acid ; if the acid is 
slightly diluted, oxidation and solution with violent effervescence 
make a start when the iron is immersed, but they stop almost imme- 
diately afterwards. As the dilution is increased, the length of time 
intervening between the action and its sudden cessation increases 
proportionately. When the acid is diluted beyond a certain degree 
of weakness it acts on the iron without any cessation whatever. 

If, however, a piece of iron that is thus freely soluble in such 
dilute nitric acid be now plunged into strong acid, and then carefully 
and slowly, without agitation, be reintroduced to its previous solvent, 
this is a solvent no longer ; the passivity of the iron , that was started 
in the strong acid is now maintained in the weak acid. 

AH this is very puzzling, but M. Varenne suggests an explanation 
which I think is correct. He supposes that the gas which is first 
evolved on the surface of the metal adheres to it and forma a pro- 
tecting film. This is in accordance with the fact that, if iron that 
has been rendered passive by strong acid he then plunged in dilute 

/ Q Digitized Sy VjOOg 

Science Notes. 375 

acid, it loses its passivity it agitated so as to disturb the film of gas. 
Also, that the passive state is not assumed in vacuo. Besides these 
facts, he mentions the brilliant appearance of the passive iron as 
showing the adhering film of gas. 

That iron is much addicted to film itself by gaseous adhesion is 
shown by many other facts, outside of those stated by M. Varenne. 

The well-known experiment of floating a needle on water illus- 
trates it It is not the needle merely that floats, but the needle plus 
the considerable quantity of air adhering to it This may be seen by 
observing the position of the needle. It rests below the general 
surface -of the water, in a hollow which constitutes its own little 

A still more striking experiment may be made. Common 
calcined magnesia is a remarkably light powder ; an ounce fills a 
bottle that will hold above a pound of iron filings. Having settled 
this point, sprinkle some of the magnesia on water — say from a 
pepper-box — then do the same with some iron filings. 

The magnesia sinks readily, the iron filings float Force some of 
the filings down, and you will see the reason of their previous float- 
ing in the envelope of air they carry with them. 

Milk and Contagion. 

AN experiment made some time since by Bollinger deserves 
more serious consideration than it has received. He took half 
of a litter of pigs from a healthy sow and fed them with the milk 
of a scrofulous cow, the diseased condition of which was afterwards 
proved by post-mortem examination. Two pigs were killed at regular 
intervals, one of those fed on the cow's milk, the other on the milk of 
the sow. All the latter were found to be healthy, while all of those fed 
on the scrofulous milk were more or less affected with tuberculosis. 

Now that stall feeding so largely prevails, especially in and about 
large towns, the animals thus deprived of fresh air and natural exer- 
cise are liable to very human-like diseases. Consumptive cows are 
common enough, and there is good reason to conclude that human 
beings are as susceptible as pigs to scrofulous contagion. This is 
especially the case with delicate children. 

In all cases where commercial milk from unknown cows is used, 
it should be boiled, in order to destroy the germs (bacteria, probably) 
of disease, whether they be germs derived from the parent cow, or 
foreign germs introduced by subsequent contact of the milk with 
impure air or impure hands or vessel?* 

Digitized by CjOOQ iC 

376 The Gentleman 's Magazine. 

We lose a little by such boiling, the " scum " which floats on the 
top of boiling' milk being the albumen which is coagulated by the 
heat, and usually, though not necessarily, wasted. 

Condensed milk is free from the risk of contagion, having been 
reduced in bulk by boiling, and even raised to the boiling point of 
syrup, which is considerably higher than that of pure water or 
ordinary milk. 

Seed Potatoes. 

C"* ERMAN professors are doing much useful work by applying 
JT strict inductive methods to the experimental investigation of 
agricultural problems. C. Kraus has thus compared the yield of 
potatoes and artichokes that were set in the ground in three different 
conditions — ist, fresh ; 2nd, slightly decayed ; 3rd, much decayed. 
The results were decidedly in favour of the decayed sets. The fresh 
tubers made the earliest start of stems and leaves above ground ; 
but the final yield of useful tubers was greater from the slightly de- 
cayed than from the fresh tubers, and greatest of all from the highly 
decayed. This was especially the case when large tubers were 
selected for the sets. The now common practice of using small 
tubers as sets is not favoured by the results of these experi- 
ments. The advantage of larger sets is especially shown when 
they axe decayed and the weather dry. The results of experiments 
on Jerusalem artichokes correspond with those on potatoes. I 
assume that the term "decayed" is used rather in the sense of 
withered than rotten. If so, I have an experiment in progress that 
appears likely to corroborate the above. In the autumn of last year 
I set aside some potatoes that I had grown myself for seed. They 
were forgotten until about the middle of June, when I found them 
miserably shrivelled from the dryness of the drawer in which they 
had been spread, but with some promising sprouts. I put them in 
the ground with small expectations, but they are now flourishing 
remarkably so far as stems and leaves are concerned. I will report 
hereafter as to the tubers. 

Arctic Climate. 

THERE are few subjects on which popular fallacies are more 
widespread and persistent than this. I] am surprised at the 
)arge proportion of educated people who still express the idea that 
th$ balloon vovage projected by Commarjd$r Cheyne will encounter 

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Science Notes. 377 

serious difficulties on account of intense cold in the upper regions of 
the air during an Arctic summer. 

Winter in the Arctic regions is bitterly, horribly cold— and why? 
Simply because the sun is altogether below the horizon for months ; 
and all this time the earth is radiating its heat into space and receiving 
none in return. 

The geographical school-books — ay, and even 6ome of the most 
pretentious of the modern treatises on "Physiography" — are very 
unsound on this point They dwell on the " obliquity " of the sun's 
rays as the prime cause of the differences of climate that are con- 
nected with difference of latitude ; whereas this is but a minor factor, 
the major being the absence of the sun. 

We all had opportunities during the recent hot weather of com- 
paring the difference between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. as regards temperature. 
Yet the altitude of the sun and the obliquity of his rays were the 
same at either of these hours; or we may compare 8 a.m. with 4 p.m., 
or 7 A.M. with 5 p.m. 

The morning hours followed the night, during which the sun was 
absent ; the afternoon hours followed the daytime, and proved the 
effect of the previous sunshine of only a few hours. 

What, then, must be the effect of sunshine, even with very oblique 
rays, when it continues for two or three months without any nocturnal 

This question is best answered by the actual facts of Arctic 
summer climate. 

In Arctic Norway the weather is not merely mild in summertime, 
but actually hot, though very variable. I spent two summers there. 
The first was oppressively hot ; the second so totally different, that 
those who were with me could scarcely believe my description of the 
first The difference between Naples and Edinburgh is not greater 
than the difference between Tromso and Tromso on corresponding 
weeks of those two summers. This was due to the fact that in the 
first case the air contained but little aqueous vapour, and the sun 
therefore was shining on and on all day and all night, his heat accu- 
mulating on the earth without the break of darkness. The second 
summer was a very humid one ; the air was comparatively opaque to 
the solar heat rays, and thus they did but little work, in spite of their 
continuance. Even the potatoes failed that year from sheer lack of 

I have walked thirty miles per day under the July sun of Italy, 
but never felt more oppressed by summer heat than in the course of 
a walk up the Trpmsda! to visit a camp of JLaplanders. This valley 

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378 The Gentleman f s Magazine. 

is 3° north of the Arctic circle. On board the steam-packet out at 
sea, where the heat was less oppressive than on shore, the thermo- 
meter on July 17th stood at 77 in the saloon below the deck, at 92 
in the smoking-saloon on deck, and 108 in the sun. At Alten, 3J 
north of the Arctic circle, barley has been seen to grow two and a half 
inches, and peas three inches in twenty-four hours. At Hammerfest, 
still further north, the hay is made in a month after the snow has left 
the ground. 

The climatic horrors of Siberia have long been a fruitful theme in 
popular geography. It has been described as a region of hopeless 
barrenness ; and the descriptions of recent explorations of that 
country have come upon many as startling geographical revelations. 
These have verified the intensity of the winter cold, but have shown 
that under the snow that covers the plains is a well-protected vegeta- 
tion, that starts into wonderful luxuriance directly the continuous 
summer sunshine has thawed the snow. 

In Greenland, from which most of our descriptions of Arctic 
climate are derived, the summer is marred by the glaciers, which fill 
up all the valleys and flow down into the fjords and sea-channels, 
where, by their immersion in salt water, a freezing mixture is 

The summer temperature is reduced by these glaciers just as it is 
in Switzerland, where a few steps carries the tourist from the scorch- 
ing hill-side to the frigid atmosphere that stands over the glacier, and 
has such a curious exhilarating effect directly he steps upon the ice. 

The Siberian plains are fed by no such accumulations of moun- 
tain ice, and hence the sun does its full work in warming the earth 
directly the snow has vanished. 

A balloon floating well above the Greenland ice would enjoy a 
luxurious summer climate ; the sun would shine upon it continuously, 
and some part of its rotundity would always receive perpendicular 
rays, even with the sun on the horizon. The elevation above the 
lower humid atmosphere would remove much of the chief cause of 
the difference between the direct heating power of the polar and 
tropical sun rays — viz., the absorption of a greater quantity of heat by 
aqueous vapour through which the oblique rays usually travel. 

Arctic Daylight. 

INTIMATELY connected with the above subject is the effect of 
continuous daylight on vegetation. Dr. Schubeler, of Christiania, 
has devoted above thirty years to the study of this subject. His 

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Science Notes. 379 

researches curiously refute the generally received notions concerning 
the brilliancy of tropical vegetation as compared with that of the 

Dr. Schubeler finds that flowers growing within and about the 
Arctic circle are larger and deeper in colour than corresponding 
species growing farther south. This is the case with garden flowers 
and such plants as field peas, beans, &c Wheat and maize grown 
in Norway have a richer yellow brown than that growing farther 

He imported seeds of grain from Ohio and Bessarabia and planted 
them in Norway. They acquired each year a richer and darker 
colour, and finally reached the full depth of tint of the home-grown 
winter wheats. 

The same with flowers grown from imported seeds; they increased 
not only in colour but in size also, and the farther north they were 
carried, the more decided was the change. Among other instances 
he specifies the Veronica serpyUifolia y which changes from a pale to a 
dark blue as it goes farther north, and the Trientalis Europaa^ which 
changes from white to pink. 

My own observations confirm these. The most striking example 
that I remember is that of the saxifrage commonly known as 
" London pride." The bunches of flowers which in the latitude 
of London are but little larger than currant bunches, grow in Norway 
to the dimensions of large bunches of grapes, especially in the 
north, where they hang in surprising luxuriance on the inaccessible 
faces of bare perpendicular rocks, their roots bedded in the im- 
perceptible crevices of the precipice. 

Not only are the size and colours of flowers thus developed by 
the continuous sunlight, but their aroma is also intensified. This 
applies to all parts of the plant. The intensification of the flavour 
of savoury garden plants renders some of them almost uneatable in 
Scandinavia. Thus the white stick celery, grown with all our 
gardener's precautions, and not distinguishable in appearance from 
plants imported from Covent Garden market, had a sharp unpleasant 
taste when compared with the English plant The same with 
garlic, shalot, and onions. 

The following was written twenty-five years ago, and describes 
what I witnessed when Dr. Schubeler was beginning. his researches, 
of which I was then totally ignorant: — " A little before reaching Ovne 
or Aune station there were some of the most magnificent banks of 
pansies I ever beheld. Several patches of above 100 square yards 
were covered with an unbroken carpet of these beautiful flowers ; 

380 The Genttetnatis Magazine. 

the variety, richness, and harmony of their colours were most exquisite; 
they saturated the atmosphere far around with a delicious aroma 
which was almost intoxicating in its concentration when I slept upon 
them for an hour or two ; the sunbeams poured upon me with 
a roasting heat, the rooks were cawing above, and the river rumbling 
below." This was on the northern slope of the Dovrefjeld moun« 
tains, on the highway to Trondhjem. 

All the wild and cultivated fruits that can be ripened at all in 
Norway have more aroma and characteristic flavour than those which 
are grown farther south. The strawberries, cherries, bilberries, and 
other wild marsh and wood berries, all exemplify this. I can con- 
firm Dr. Schubeler's conclusions as regards the wild strawberries and 
the berries. Our bilberries are but poor things compared with the 
large, luscious, and splendidly coloured "blue berry" of the 
Norwegian fjelds. 

The increase of aroma and heightening of flavour is accompanied 
with diminished sweetness as we proceed north. The golden-drop 
plum and greengage of Christiania or Trondhjem, although large, 
well-coloured, and rich in aroma, are deficient in sweetness. In like 
manner, the Rhenish and other northern vineyards produce wines of 
finer aroma and flavour than those of Spain and Portugal, but they 
are less alcoholic on account of the smaller quantity of sugar which 
by its fermentation produces the alcohoL 

Therefore it is inferred that the light produces aroma, and heat 
produces sweetness, but I doubt the accuracy of this conclusion. 

My own opinion is that the difference is all due to time; that in 
the north the continuous daylight, and the day-heat also, develop the 
fruit so rapidly that there is not sufficient time for the conversion of 
the starch and woody fibre into sugar to be fully effected, and I base 
this demand for time on such well-known facts as the ripening of our 
sweetest pears, many of which when gathered in the autumn are 
hard and sour, but become lusciously sweet by merely storing them 
until December or January, or even later. Oranges and other fruits 
sweeten in like manner after they are gathered, without the help of 
any notable amount of either light or heat 

The summer in Norway begins so late and ends so early that the 
snow often falls upon the cherries before they are gathered I have 
feasted on currants, cherries, and strawberries plucked from the 
bushes and trees in September, the beginning of this month being 
the height of the season for such fruits there, the winter following 

w. mattieu wi 

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Modern Taste in Old Books* 

PUBLIC taste as regards old books is no less fluctuating than 
in other matters. A genuine collector, such as Dibdin con- 
ceived and described, still delights in large-paper copies, books 
printed on vellum, and the like, and still prizes an Aldine Virgil, a 
Giunti Decameron, a Bodoni Homer, or an Elzevir Ragionamenti, to 
say nothing of Guttenburgs, Caxtons, Valdarfers, and other treasures 
which can only be seen in the library of the millionaire. The general 
taste, however, has recently taken a strange direction, and the ordi- 
nary book-buyer occupies himself almost exclusively with original 
editions of Shelley, Ruskin, Tennyson, Dickens, Cruikshank, and 
other writers or artists of the present century. Classics are for the 
present a drug, and I have purchased lately at book-stalls for a few 
shillings books which, at the beginning of the century, would have 
brought as many pounds. That the modern taste is in part fictitious, 
stimulated by booksellers who, unable to obtain rarities, try to force a 
taste for a class of works they are still able to supply, may be 
conceded. A student of Shelley is, of course, anxious to have the 
earliest obtainable text of a given poem, which was probably more 
or less mutilated in succeeding editions. What may be the attraction 
of works of this class to an average book-buyer, I am unable to 

Kindred Tastes op London and Paris. 

MORE significance is assigned to the taste of which I speak, in 
consequence of a fancy absolutely analogous having arisen 
in France. The principal booksellers of Paris will point to theif 
early Moliferes and Corneilles, their Froissarts and Ronsards, Marots 
and Alan Chartiers, lying upon their shelves with a stiff price recorded 
in the first volume, while a first edition of Thrfophile Gautier or 
of Victor Hugo will go for its weight in gold. In a Paris cata- 
logue now before me, "Les Rayons et Les Ombres/ 9 1840, of M. 

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382 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Hugo, is priced 100 francs ; while an uncut edition of "Les Chants du 
Crlpuscule," 1835, is kft unpriced, its cost being a matter not to be 
rashly settled, I have been told of a copy of the first edition of 
" Mademoiselle de Maupin," by Thdophile Gautier, being put at a 
price which would almost secure a First Folio Shakespeare. Illustrated 
books of the early part of the century, and those of the last century, 
with designs by Eisen, have been sold for incredible sums. I 
remember being offered in Scotland for five pounds an edition of 
Dorafs works which would now be worth going to the Antipodes to 

Self-imposed Starvation. 

OF Elwes, the miser, who was a country gentleman of consider* 
able means, it is recorded that he picked up in the street and 
wore for years a scratch-wig which a beggar had discarded. Discom- 
fort is, of course, to a miser a matter of secondary importance. 
What is, however, to be said of the man who, with gold in his posses- 
sion, starves himself to death, and is found dead of die most terrible of 
sufferings with the money that would have saved him in his desiccated 
hand ? Such was recently the case with a man on whose body a 
coroner's jury sat in London. Most commonly the miser's victims 
are his horses, his servants, his family. In this case, a base nature 
furnishes an ample explanation. What form of disease, however — 
since disease it must be — induces a man to take the slowest of known 
deaths, and that most full of torment, when he might " his quietus 
make with a bare bodkin," or take any of the thousand exits 
described by Mr. Browning — 

There are byways provided ; 
The heart-sick traveller, in the pageant world, 
Slips out by letting the main mask defile 
By the conspicuous portal. 

In employing the word disease, all is supposed to be said. Shall we 
ever, I wonder, possess a psychological science even of the most 
empirical kind ? ... 

An Estimate of Tobacco. 

IT is obvious that arguments against the abuse of an article like 
opium do not necessarily apply to its moderate use. In the 
case of a free and virile race, needless restrictions are harmful, as 
depriving the people of that habit of self-control on the part of 

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Table Talk. 383 

individuals in which the real strength of a nation consists. Once 
take charge of what men shall drink or smoke, and you not only 
reduce them to the level of children, taking from them the sense 
of responsibility ; but, as experience has always • shown, you give 
them a mischievous pleasure in evading the action of laws they 
ought to approve and support There is a disposition abroad to 
attempt tasks of this kind, the danger of which is, I fancy, not 
apparent to the humanitarians and zealots to whom it is attributable. 
As to the comparative use and good results of tobacco and alcohol, 
the two chief temptations of Englishmen, the last word is not said. 
This rather lengthy exordium serves to introduce a praise of tobacco 
which I have lately encountered in an unexpected quarter. As few 
of my readers are likely to see it elsewhere, I extract it from the 
folio tome in which it is buried. It is in the form of a species of 
dialogue or parable, and is entitled — 

" The Tobacconist. 

THERE were two Maids talking of Husbands, which is for the 
most part the Theam of their Discourse, and the subject of 
their Thoughts. 

The one said, I would not marry a man that takes Tobacco for 

Then, said the other, It is likely you will have a Fool for your 
Husband; for Tobacco is able to make a Fool a Wiseman : and though 
k doth not always work wise Effects, by reason some Fools are 
beyond all improvement ; yet it never fails where any improvement 
is to be made. 

Why, said the first, what wise Effects does it work ? 

The second said, it composes the mind, it busies the thoughts, 
represents several Objects to the mind's view, settles and stays the 
Senses, clears the Understanding, strengthens the Judgment, spies out 
Errors, evaporates Follies, heals Ambition, comforts Sorrow, abates 
Passion, excites to Noble Actions, digests Conceptions, enlarges 
Knowledge, elevates Imaginations, creates Fancies, quickens Wit, 
and makes Reason Pleader, and Truth Judge, in all disputes or 
Controversies betwixt Right and Wrong. 

The first said, It makes the Breath stink. 

You mistake, said the second ; it will make a stinking Breath 

It is a Beastly Smell, said the first. 

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384 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Said the second, Civet is a Beastly Smell, and that yotf will 
thrust your Nose to, although it be an Excrement ; and for anything 
we knbw, so is Atnbergreece ; when Tobacco is a sweet and pleasant, 
wholesome and medicinable Herb." 

Female Praise of Tobacco* 

TO whom, it will be asked, is attributable this whimsical 
eulogy? To no less a person than the "Thrice Noble, 
Illustrious, and Most Excellent Princess" — so is she described in 
the title-page of the work — the Duchess of Newcastle, the famous 
" Mad Meg," as she was irreverently described, whose voluminous 
writings were the delight of Lamb, and whose in